Monday, 8 January 2018

RIP Tom Hosmer (1943 - 2013)

Tom Hosmer (left) placing magnetic art on the streets of Concord, NH, USA
It is with a heavy heart that we learnt the news that one of our regular contributing artists, Tom Hosmer, has died at the age of 69. Many of our artists dip in and out of our exhibitions so we don't always keep in regular contact but we started to worry as we hadn't heard from Tom in the last four years. He died on 4th March 2013 in Pennsylvania, USA. Just the day before his death we had been in contact about sending him a copy of the Patternotion book, one of the early CollectConnect publications that he had contributed to.

Tom first exhibited with us for the Brighton Open in 2011, and quickly followed that up by exhibiting magnetic art on the gates of Hastings Pier at Rarities (2011). He was so inspired by this spirit of inclusivity that he organised his own magnet show. In August 2011 he worked with the New Hampshire chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA-NH) to exhibit hundreds of magnets at the Minor Threat Pop-Up Gallery. He also hit the streets of Concord, placing magnets on store facades for the public to pick up.

He was a man of many talents and loved being creative, he sculpted and was a keen photographer. I shall remember him as a great thinker, a sensitive man, a person who chose his words carefully and cared very much about the world and its children.

Wings by Tom Hosmer
Collectconnect published two books with Tom's work in it. FreedBook was released in 2012 when a group of us visited all the Books For London libraries on the London transport network (80 miles!). Tom submitted one of his poems (see above). Tom was hugely enthusiastic about being part of our modest group of artists, and was very keen to be included in our second book Patternotion. We released Patternotion on the 9th March 2013, unknown to us he had died just a few days before. The book tried to inspire people to make interesting and positive changes in their lives. Here is Tom's contribution.....

Wisdom by Tom Hosmer

"When I was really quite young, I remember browsing through the local Woolworth's Five & Dime.  There was a middle age couple dressed in working class clothes, who were standing silently staring into space not saying anything for some minutes, and then conversing and then silence again.  I stood some distance away from them watching.  They went on for a number of minutes in this manner.  Even in this mime I could imagine the words exchanged and the thoughts which were held in silence.
After a while I moved on, but I realized that they were agonizing over a decision to make a purchase, and that the purchase would impact them in a very deep way financially.  And, as I have walked through life I have seen this same scene play out in differing ways not only across this country but in different nations over the globe.  Even in rich cities and countries, you can see the Invisibles if you just stand in one place long enough and watch."
Tom Hosmer (2013)

Tom Hosmer with his wife Jennifer Van Cor in England (early 1980s)
Thomas Hosmer was born August 21, 1943, to Harold and Mary Hosmer in York, Maine, the middle child of three. He graduated R.W. Traip Academy in Kittery, Maine. Tom was deeply affected by the war in Vietnam and the involvement of the USA. In 1968 he dodged the draft and escaped to Montreal, where he spent months struggling with the personal conflicts that burned inside of him. He was a contemporary of both Mark Lane and Dick Gregory in Canada. Tom was imprisoned upon his return to the US and had a mixed time in New York after his release. With prison fresh on his mind he found it hard to get involved with the esoteric events in the city but it didn't stop all his cultural activities, as he explains....

"I did get to the opening night of the Whitney Biennial when I was there.  Two things opened the door for that.  I painted the walls of the Whitney at night when they were setting up the show.  That gave me a free pass to the Whitney.  But I was also dating the daughter of the head of the sculpture department at the Rhode Island School of Design, and that got me into the opening night."

He worked as a merchant seaman and brought up his two children, Pieter and Sarah Van Cor-Hosmer. In later years he moved to Warner, New Hampshire where he was often to be found in the company of fellow artists and poets. He took great comfort in the beauty of nature, a passion he shared with friends David M Carroll (Macarthur Foundation Fellow) and his wife Laurette.

We will miss Tom, his wisdom and his kindness.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Submissions Open - Art of Caring 2018

Now in its 4th year The Art of Caring is needed more than ever to show support for Nurses, Carers, and the NHS. This is your chance to exhibit an artwork or haiku that demonstrates your passion for this theme. If this is your first time then check out Anna Bowman's documentary film about last year's exhibition HERE.

The Art of Caring is split into two clear exhibitions.
The first is at St George's Hospital (10th-30th May 2018) where printed postcards of your artwork are displayed on the walls of the hospital to help celebrate International Nurses Day. This is an inclusive exhibition.
The second is at St Pancras Hospital (July - October 2018) and uses a mixture of original artworks and printed postcards. Works will be selected by the
Arts Project curators Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay.

It is Free to enter.
Send up to 3 jpeg images at an A6 size to
and/or send a haiku to the same email address

We are looking for artworks/poems about Care and/or Caring but also consider the theme for International Nurses Day this year..... Health is a Human Right.

You will receive a confirmation email within 7 days with your catalogue/exhibition numbers.
Before the exhibition we will print 2 postcards of each of your artworks. One copy will be sent to you and the other will be exhibited at St George's Hospital, Tooting, UK from the 10th-30th May, 2018.

For the full details about how to submit your work visit our SUBMIT page.
Deadline for submissions is 6th April 2017
(We may close early if all 400 exhibition spaces are filled)

Alban Low, Bryan Benge, Dean Reddick and Stuart Simler

The exhibition is once again kindly supported by Supported by Kingston University and St George's, University of London

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Small Worlds: Future Lives - Exhibition opportunity

Small Worlds: Future Lives

An exhibition of small sculptures that are inspired by the dwellings, societies and worlds of the future. During February 2018 we will placing small artworks (Maximum size = 5cm wide x 5cm deep x 8cm high) on the streets around London Bridge. The artworks can be picked up by the public for free.

Over the past few months we have been finding and cultivating a series of public art spaces (niches, ledges, railing, flowerbeds etc) called the #unsettledgallery. The artworks will be placed one by one in these spaces during February 2018.

We will be photographing the worlds once they are in place and asking writers to create small written works inspired by these miniature societies. These written pieces will be published alongside photographs of your world on the CollectConnect website/blog. Hopefully we'll produce a small physical catalogue/book too, but I'll ask your permission separately if this comes to fruition.

There are further opportunities available too. Eskild Beck will organising a Small Worlds exhibition in Aabenraa, Denmark in May-June 2018 (Opening 3rd May). He will select some artists from our exhibition (but probably not everyone as he has limited space).

How to get involved
Small Worlds: Future Lives (#unsettledgallery London Bridge)

1) Contact Alban Low at his email address to express an interest.
or email
2) Alban will email you his home address.
3) Send your Small Worlds to this address by 19th January 2018.
4) Your sculptures should not be larger than 5cm wide x 5cm deep x 8cm high. A maximum of 3 artworks per artist.

Don't forget you must be prepared that these artworks will be exhibited on the streets and therefore may be taken by members of the public or destroyed by the weather/animals/refuse collectors etc.

Dazzle High-rise - Alban Low (#unsettledgallery No.8)

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


Mooncrow - Dean Reddick (#unsettledgallery No.2)
It is only a lack of time that keeps us from organising more exhibitions each year. Our annual flagship exhibition the Art of Caring continues to grow in popularity, and stays true to our original ideals of inclusivity for artists. Because of its theme the Art of Caring is usually shown in hospitals or in nursing related spaces. But recently we've been getting that itch to exhibit artworks back out on the streets.

When we first started CollectConnect we found exhibiting outdoors was the most flexible, accessible and democratic of spaces. If someone didn't like the art we'd displayed in public, they quite simply picked it up and threw it away. More frequently people would pocket our art magnets, and take them home to display in their own gallery at home (usually their fridge!).

Dean placing Dogcrow at #unsettledgallery No.1
Over the last few months Dean Reddick and Alban Low have been cultivating a series of public spaces around London Bridge. Although these spaces change and evolve on a daily basis, we have located several that can house artworks for a longer period of time. These have been in flowerbeds, on railings, between bricks, in gullies, beside drainpipes, attached to gates and basically anywhere an artwork can rest and be seen by the public.

The #unsettledgallery, as its name suggests, is an evolving space that we have been populating with art. The London Bridge area is a thoroughfare for thousands of commuters each day. The Tate Modern, White Cube and Jerwood Space are a few metres away, Guy's Hospital sits within it boundary, alongside Europe's tallest building, The Shard. It has recently been targeted by 'terrorists' and people queue in a long line every day outside the Immigration Centre on St Thomas St. It has given us plenty of inspiration already but we hope it will now become a breeding ground for both our own art and other artists too.

Small Talking Heads - Alban Low (#unsettledgallery No.8)
Dean Reddick has exhibited several bird related sculptures in Gallery No.1 (Dogend Gallery) and Gallery No.2. While Alban Low has settled on a group of railing in Snowsfields at Gallery No.8. Where he's been placing a series of painted wooden heads based on his friend's profiles called Small Talking Heads.

Your can follow all the placements on Twitter or by dipping into this online photo album. #unsettledgallery Photos

Of course we'll be posting many of them here on the website/blog too, especially as more artists come together for exhibitions. Our first exhibition will be Small Worlds which we'll be running in conjunction with Danish artist Eskild Beck. More info soon.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Art of Caring Film Night

The Art of Caring closed on October 19th 2017 at St Pancras Hospital with a wonderful night of artistic goodbyes, where fresh ideas flowed forth and future plans were laid. It was an opportunity for artists to collect their work and for the buyers to take their treasured purchases home.

Anna Bowman premiered her brilliant short film about the 2017 Art of Caring exhibition. Curated by Peter Herbert, the Gallery exhibition expands CollectConnect's St George's Hospital Art of Caring show, held in connection with International Nursing Day. As you probably already know Alban and the CollectConnect team started the annual Art of Caring exhibition in 2015. The film gives us a unique insight into the exhibition and we also meet nine of the 35 artists whose work is on show at the Gallery, St Pancras Hospital and see many of the 200 postcards and haikus first displayed at St George's Hospital.

We hope the future of the Art of Caring is secure and we'll return in 2018.

Keep an eye out for Dean Reddick and Alban Low as they are researching a new CollectConnect exhibition around London Bridge. #Unsettledgallery goes back to CollectConnect roots, exhibiting on the streets, making an immediate commentary on our modern lives in a contemporary living space.

Friday, 21 July 2017

AOC Opens at St Pancras Hospital

Ella Penn
Last night (20/07/2017) we officially opened the Art of Caring at St Pancras Hospital with a fantastic summer's evening of wine and song. The exhibition started as a postcard show at St George's Hospital way back in May but here it took on a new life. St Pancras curators Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay brought together many of the postcards again but also a healthy slice of original work by the artists involved.

There were many eye-catching contributions, including David Marron's Fentanyl Dreams, and Mark Carr's two paintings from his Cup of Life series. Two sculptural pieces which captured the attention of the Private View revellers were Louise O'Boyle's glass domed world and the Melanie Ezra and Graham Parker hand that reached out from beyond the a mirror. Once again Herbert and Harper-Gay had engineered an artistic exhibition that broke boundaries, creating a new exciting physical space but also an emotional world that talked of compassion and shared experience.

artwork by
Melanie Ezra and
Graham Parker
Many of the artists exhibiting were also in attendance. This was Caroline Streatfield Chalk's first exhibition with CollectCollect, while Ella Penn is a die-hard of the CollectConnect inclusive genre and has been exhibiting with us for more than 5 years. Penn had brought along Freya, the subject of her Alopecia Tableau, to join in the opening night celebrations. Aran Illingworth had sold two of her beautiful textile pieces by the end of the night, as had the famous Stuckist and Outsider artist John Sheehy. Chris Brown and Dean Reddick chatted amiably to the gallery visitors, and David Napier was on hand to demonstrate his ceramic chessboard/backgammon set.

The Sensory Garden was full of visitors and just by its entrance was Jill Rock and her challenging work Duty of Care. Many more of the artists were in attendance, thank you to everyone who was there to make this night such a success. We had speeches from Caroline Harris-Birtles (C&I Director of Nursing) Andrew Machin, (Associate Director and Charity Development Project Manager from The Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust NHS Charitable Fund) and Paul Newcombe (Pre -Registration Nursing Course Leader at St George’s Hospital and Kingston University).

Sarah Vista
We were treated to a live set of original country and western ballads from The Sarah Vista Social Club (with Jeff Mead). It was an evening both of celebration and though provoking pathos, many of the artists were explicit in their support for Nurses and NHS, with artworks that highlighted the political and financial threats that currently harry the profession.

Once again thank you all for supporting the Art of Caring. The exhibition runs until the 19th October at CONFERENCE CENTRE GALLERY, ST PANCRAS HOSPITAL, 4 ST PANCRAS WAY
LONDON, NW1 OPE. Please go an visit.

You can see a selection of photos by following this LINK.

See you next year.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Art of Caring 2017 at St Pancras Hospital - Opening Night 20th July

We're putting the finishing touches to this year's Art of Caring at St Pancras Hospital, another fantastic exhibition that combines original artwork and postcard art from around the world. The first exhibition at St George's Hospital was very much appreciated by staff and patients in May and this is another opportunity to celebrate the work of Carers, Nurses and the NHS.

I hope you'll all join us on Thursday 20th July from 5.30pm -8.30pm for the Private View. There will be refreshments and entertainment. St Pancras Hospital curators Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay have chosen a selection of original artwork to go alongside many of the postcards that were originally exhibited at St George's Hospital. We couldn't have a Private View at St George's so please come along on the 20th July to St Pancras and meet everyone who has been involved in the exhibition in 2017.

The exhibition is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, until October 19th. Last year we had a closing event with a talk from artists and a film screening too. If we have a Closing Event this year I'll let everyone know.


Friday 21 July - Thursday 19 October 2017
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm

Opening Night
Thursday 20 July 2017

Travel: Bus 46/214, Tube: Kings Cross, Overground: Camden Road
CONTACT ARTS PROJECT -  Elaine Harper-Gay at 
Peter Herbert 020 7916 841

Artists that have been selected by Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay for the St Pancras Art of Caring 2017 exhibition are -

Alban Low
Amal Haibe
Angelina Lawson
Ann Froggatt
Ann Kopka
Anne Guest
Antoinette Brown
Aran Illingworth
Ashley Passwater
Barbara Usher
Ben Ransome
Beth Louella
Bogusie Redford
Brittany Isom
Bryan Benge
Carmel Blackie
Carol Blues
Caroline Kirton
Caroline Streatfield Chalk
Chris Brown
Christen Trogolo DNP Student
Claire Leboutet
Dane B.
Danny Mooney
David Baker
David Lim
David Marron
David Napier
Dawes Gray
Dean Reddick
Diana Trinca
Dominic O'Ryan
Doreen E. Aidoo
Dorie Ellis
Ella Penn
Esperanza Tielbaard
Fiona Cosgrove
Graham Parker
Gloria Eisen BSN Student
Helen Attwood
Iffy Ali
Imogen Perkin
Jae J. Rhee
James Whatley
Jane Lambert
Jasmin Bowen
Jelena JovanĨov
Jelly Arnold
Jenny Meehan
Jess Sneddon
Jessica Adrianna Wayar
Jill Rock
Jina Wallwork
John Sheehy
Junu Gurung
K. Clasper
Kajal Shah
Katka Sedlackova
Kayliegh Daly
Kenny & Vito
Kim Miller
Kristi Doke
Lesley Cartwright
Li Huizi
Lilian McCann
Louise O'Boyle
Lynne Smith
Malc Dow
Mark Carr
Maryam Bibi
Melanie Ezra
Miriam Cima
Mounir Larhrib, SRNA
Natalie Low
Nataliya Zozulya
Natasa Vladisavljevic

Olajide Jegede
Olubukunola Temidara
Oluwaseun Ogundipe
Oscar Newcombe
Peter Turton
Rachel Rummun
Rebecca Hope
Rebbeca Lowe
Rekha Vijaysbankar
Rima Ahmed
Ruby Bradley
Sally Ward
Samantha Underhill
Sara Burgess
Sara Lerota
Sara Rivers
Sarah Lawton
Saron Rai
Sean Herbert
Shelly Mastericks
Silvani Buccat
Simon Naish
Stella Tripp
Sue Lyons
Tamara Jelaca
Toyon Asaaju
Tracy Boness
Tracy Ferriss
Yuet Yean Teo
Wayne Sleeth
Winnie Sendyose

A special thank you to Ann Froggatt, Melanie Ezra and Graham Parker for the AOC2017 publicity image. Supported by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund
Registration Nos: 1082989

For those of you that haven't seen the photos from the Art of Caring 2017 at St George's Hospital then follow this link HERE.