A Seat At The Table


Our annual Community Takeover exhibition celebrates and showcases the community engagement projects that have taken place over the past year. Everyone is welcome to come along to the exhibition, find out more about how we connect with the communities around us and get involved in a gallery based creative activity or event. A Seat At The Table will give a voice to the people who we have collaborated with through our projects. Feeding our families, looking after our neighbours, and how change can affect us all are central themes within this exhibition. Three projects, SHIFT HAPPENS, the Phoenix Food Shop partnership and A Difficult Place are featured in this year’s Community Takeover.

Artists Sarah Cole and Annis Joslin have worked with a group supported by Brighton Women’s Centre over the past year. They developed ideas together, exploring how we experience, create or cope with shifts in our lives. In March 2023 the group presented their work-in-progress – drawing, video, writing, performance, animation, 360 film/VR and print-making – at the Phoenix Project Space, gathering audience feedback through different activities and conversations. SHIFT HAPPENS was made by twelve people who met on a regular basis, committing to seeing what emerges when they trust a process and each other. This research project has been financially supported by Arts Council England.

For the past three years Phoenix Art Space has worked in partnership with the Phoenix Food Shop, an affordable food shop run by local residents in the nearby community centre. The Food Shop has become an essential resource for people living in the surrounding area and a valuable meeting place for Phoenix Art Space to connect with our neighbouring community. This exhibition includes a series of photographs by Hugh Fox that document the work of the food shop volunteers. Alongside these are the results of ongoing creative activities that have been developed by Phoenix Art Space artists in collaboration with residents.

Filmmaker John Edwards and artist Katy Beinart worked with residents of the Phoenix Estate to create A Difficult Place, a film that reveals the true cost of the cost of living crisis, and its devastating effect on individuals. In a series of conversations filmed at Phoenix Art Space, the Phoenix Community Centre, and on the London Road in Brighton, the group discuss how rising food prices, together with the added changes to their local shopping area, have drastically impacted their lives. The film documents individual experiences and perspectives at a local level during this challenging time and shows how the community has come together to support each other through the Phoenix Food Shop. It provides a platform for residents to share their stories more widely, highlighting personal narratives beyond the statistics. This project was part of the University of Brighton’s Ignite (2022/23) community-university partnership programme, which is funded under the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Impact Acceleration Account.



Exhibition Preview
Friday 1 September, 18:00 – 20:00
Free, no booking required

SHIFT HAPPENS, Brighton Women’s Centre Open Mic
Thursday 7 September, 18:00 – 20:00
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Drop-In Monoprints
Friday 8 September, 13.00 – 15.00
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Free, drop-in

Let’s Talk About Process
Friday 8 September, 17:00 – 19:00
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Family Workshop
Saturday 16 September, 11:00 – 13:00
Free, drop-in
Click here to find out more