Aspex at 40

Aspex at 40

1 Jan - 31 Dec

Aspex at 40

We introduce you to a collection of weekly stories, reflecting on our history as we celebrate our 40th anniversary.

2021 hasn’t started as any of us wished or hoped, full of more than its fair share of challenges already. But as I write, during another national lockdown, not yet able to open our first exhibition to launch our 40th anniversary programme, it feels timely to pause and reflect, to look back on what has been achieved over the last four decades and consider how it might shape Aspex’s future. 

I have had the great honour of working at Aspex as its Director for 21 years, alongside some extraordinary artists, colleagues, curators, partners and volunteers. I’ve also benefited from the support and guidance of my brilliant predecessor Les Buckingham, Director (1984-1999) who has shared his curatorial memories and anecdotes with me. Between us, covering almost the full history of the organisation we want to celebrate the achievements of the people we have worked with and the art that has thrilled and inspired us, while exciting and challenging our audiences. 

This series of 40 stories, published on our website weekly and linked to our social media channels will provide just a glimpse into our archive, with personal reflections and reminiscences from Les and I, alongside invited artists, curators and educators with whom we have worked. I hope it will reveal how our mission to support emerging artists has been sustained throughout our history, as we have been able to offer artists key opportunities to make ambitious new work and a step change in their practice. It will reveal elements of our history, examples of solo and group exhibitions, but also show how we have involved and engaged our wider community in Portsmouth, and our enduring commitment to education, diversity and inclusion.

We are excited to share these very personal reflections and hope you will share your own #AspexAt40 stories and experiences, helping us to develop and build Aspex’s archive.

Joanne Bushnell, Director

Read the stories so far - 

Week 1 | Les Buckingham 

Week 2 | Ruins, Monuments & Follies

Week 3 | WORDS! Don't Stand on Trifles 

Week 4 | Aiming High 

Week 5 | Art and Aboriginality (Part 1), 1987


Images: Brougham Road c1980; former members of Art Space Portsmouth in early 80s; Cornelia Parker 'Thirty Pieces of Silver' 1989; Studio Morison 'Luna Park 10 Years' 2020; Vulcan Building 2006; Will Cruickshank 'Push & Pull' 2018; Majid Dhana leading family Saturdays during Journeys Festival International in 2017.