Exeter Phoenix, South West
Dominic from Luton
You Are The Arts Centre
Responding to a deep held and passionate love for the institution of the Great British arts centre, artist Dominic Allan, working under the moniker Dominic From Luton, explores what a place such as Exeter Phoenix means, as a building, as a community resource and a beacon of the vital cultural life of the city.
Dominic believes that the true value and meaning of the arts centre is encompassed not by the building itself, but by the people who inhabit it. The audiences and the artists, the staff and the volunteers, those who service the building and those for whom it provides a second home, a place that they can truly belong and be part of a creative community.
Over lockdown, while the arts centre has been reduced to a shadow of its normal vibrant self, he has reached out to some of those who know it best; from the myriad of users, each with their own passions and reasons to visit, to those who work in, with and as a result of what happens there; to those who create the very art, music, poetry, theatre and film around which it centres. Deliberately choosing to forgo the ubiquity and ease of digital communication channels, he has engaged in handwritten correspondence, sent through the post, to highlight its intimate, touch-based, slower and possibly more considered quality.
Offered the chance to consider and reveal their honest opinions about Exeter Phoenix, their responses are the raw material with which Dominic works. Seeking to tease out an honest, complicated, contradictory and loving portrait of both a place and an idea, he re-presents their words as testament, provocation and celebration.