We Are Open was a series of experimental residencies hosted in the Lethaby Gallery at CSM.

Over four weeks, graduates from Graphic Design, Fine Art and Spatial Practices were invited to create on site responses to the gallery's local communities and environments. Each graduate was resident in the gallery for one week. The gallery became their studio, and was open to the public for the duration of their stay. At the end of each week and residency, new work was added to the gallery. The resulting group show represented the diverse range of practices and approaches used by the graduates.  

Driftdays by MA Architecture graduates Carlotta Novella and Katherine Spence was the opening graduate residency for the exhibition. Seeing the gallery as a social space and a repository of knowledge, Carlotta and Katherine designed and built a reading room, a warm-brew kitchenette, a sewing station, and a coat rack for the space and installed an upright photocopier. These structures became props for daily rituals in the gallery they invited students and members of the public to join in with.

Each day in the gallery began with a morning coffee and collective dreaming session and ended with the Last Word, a spoken word session to wrap up the day and air thoughts. Making communally is inscribed into their process of work and so the week was also punctuated by group sessions for sewing, walking, construction and reading. Carlotta and Katherine took the working day as the ordering temporal unit for their time in the gallery, expanding upon the social and aesthetic aspects of the habitual in order to bring about heightened subjectivity in the daily lives of those who visited.

Who was involved:

  • Carlotta Novella
  • Katherine Spence