On Sunday 12th June The Point hosted a Birthday Picnic Party to celebrate 20 wonderful years as an arts venue.
The birthday party was a celebration of all that has been achieved with the local community through vibrant performance and the incubation of talent from bold artists, to the support of emerging companies. As part of the celebrations eleven exciting designer-makers created twenty bespoke tablecloths to adorn picnic tables; showcasing the kind of innovative work The Point commissions.
The eleven artists were made up of Clare Jefferson Jones, Amber Jefferson Grant, Phuongmai Nguyen, Claudia Friend, and Emily Burns, Chloe Hood, Jade Willis, Lorna Jones, Mihaela Zhekova Price, Scott Massey and Elizabeth Saunders. Each designer was given a brief of a year from The Point’s history and all researched the venue through archives and memorable moments to produce original designs that have formed part of the birthday celebrations.
The twenty tablecloths reflected the various strands of the Eastleigh venue, with the artists returning to early brochures to gather a sense of the programme of work in the building throughout the years. Designer Amber Jefferson Grant said “My aim with the 1998 tablecloth was to produce a fun and bright pattern, inspired by the contrasting colours in the season brochures and the ongoing themes of dance and movement.”
Forming part of the birthday celebrations, the tablecloths were a visual representation of the entire history of The Point, with 1996 designer Clare Jefferson Jones taking inspiration from the historical stonework installed in 1899 above the original entrance to the building, saying “This piece was inspired by the conversion of the old council offices to become The Point in 1996. The tablecloth seeks to engage the viewer in a sense of nostalgia looking back at the past.”
2016 designer Elizabeth Saunders said “This has been an exciting opportunity and challenge.” Elizabeth’s tablecloth design was inspired by the building as it can be seen today as well as the latest season programme and involved techniques including painting, screen printing, applique, photographic transfer and free machine embroidery.
The Point will continue to celebrate its birthday throughout 2016 with a Gallery Exhibition and Gala Evening.