Anticlone Gallery positions itself in relation to dissent and nonconformity. Born out of the need to showcase and express outside the traditions of the art world, Anticlone as an artspace exhibits beyond mediums and disciplines. Here, the founder and director of the gallery, Sade English, shares her experiences in creating artist-led spaces for contemporary arts and design which centre the artist and highlight the creative process.
How did Anticlone Gallery come to be?
I have produced exhibitions and events as an independent curator since 2013. After having my solo show in 2020, which had an incredible turnout, I wanted to continue showcasing like-minded individuals in a space. So, one could say that Anticlone Gallery was born out of that. I have also wanted to be community-driven, and give back to the people from my practice. This is something I have learned from my late mother, Marcia Elaine Byfield, and wanted to keep in the core of Anticlone. Anticlone was founded in memory of her.
How would you describe the ethos of the gallery?
The ethos stresses the importance of genuine expression that does not conform to the expectations of the society of industry. Anticlone Gallery aims to remove or blur terms such as “emerging” and “established” altogether in order to allow the viewer or collector the space to interpret the artwork for what it truly is. As a gallery, Anticlone emphasises the significance the role of the artist has. As a conceptual gallery, the selection process of the artists and creatives reflects this.
Can you tell me about the artists you have exhibited so far and your role during those processes?
Each artist has been selected with care and attention to their skill and ccraftsmanship A vast majority of the artists I have showcased are from multidisciplinary backgrounds. In terms of exhibition-making, the space in which the curation happens is selected with respect to each artist, regardless of their position in the art world. I carefully consider the overall impact of a show. I avoid “talking over” the narrative of the artist, even if it wouldn’t fit with my vision. Instead, I display each work with equal respect.
How would you describe the process of “finding” artists, or do the artists find you?
The process of inviting artists to Anticlone has been quite organic. I have had work submitted to me by artists as well as come across artists with whom I have wanted to work with. Meeting with them in person is something I usually look forward to, as it helps me to connect with them on a personal level, which then enables me to understand their work and processes even further.
Is there anything you would like to change or challenge regarding the art scene through AntiClone Gallery?
I want to be able to display and showcase works that embody authentic expression. A global pandemic shouldn’t be the reason people take risks in order to be authentically themselves. As the practices of showcasing art have an extensive history, they cannot be changed overnight. Anticlone represents that change. It challenges the artists and creatives not to conform. It involves curation as a conceptual and transparent infrastructure that avoids controlling artistic processes.
Any projects you are working on now that you would like to share?
I have an upcoming solo show at Marshall Street in May 2022, which will showcase new works on canvas. I also have a group show scheduled for October 2022, focusing on artists of African descent.
Anticlone Gallery will be at Soho House, at White City Studio on 2nd-6th of May 2022.
Interviewer: Nimco Kulmiye Hussein
Images: Self Portraits by Sade English
The Red Series, Untitled 2 Canvas.
Courtesy of the artist and Anticlone, 2022.