Coexist are committed to showcasing dynamic, and exciting artists who are willing to test the boundaries of their practices and show ambitious work.
Our platform sees emerging artists exhibiting alongside more established practices with no obvious distinction. One of the core aims is to provide critically engaged exposure for lesser-known artists. We actively encourage the artists we work with to lift the corners of their practices and expose new and challenging ways forward. A soft spot for site-specific work is heightened by the temporary nature of the building we inhabit and we allow artists to indulge in this.
Unique dialogues between practices are sought and the underlying narratives behind the shows are teased out through instigating these new relationships.
Gallery curators Amy Mckenny and Jonathan Kipps are both practising artists, exhibiting and working nationally and internationally. Approaching this project from a strong sculptural, yet painterly, background the exhibitions are assembled using the same conceptual processes as when creating an individual piece of work. This culminates in a programme heavily geared up towards a raw artist perspective. CoExist also work with invited guest curators.
Based in Southend-on-Sea, Coexist is a not-for-profit, artist led organisation initially founded by Amy Mckenny and Emma Emmerton. The studios and gallery spaces are housed within a converted water works called TAP (Temporary Arts project) which is the first space of its kind in the area.
TAP was set up as a partnership between CoExist, Metal, and Essex & Suffolk Water. Also including the White Bus Cinema (www.thewhitebus.org.uk) and Idea13 (www.idea13.org), it is a hub and catalyst for cultural creativity in Southend.
Although the nucleus of the organisation is the monthly exhibition programme, held throughout the three gallery spaces, CoExist also hold artist talks, workshops and outside events. External projects have included SIDESHOW, for Village Green festival 2009, an ambitious exhibition in a circus tent and more recently, a new annual project called ARTSIDE (www.artside.org.uk), in which art works and actions are integrated into the high street, turning Southend town centre into a pulsating art platform showcasing local, national and international artists.