London-based artist Gavin Freeborn sets up his latest ‘Freeborn Exchange’, a part-exhibition, part-creative opportunity where visitors can view artwork by makers in the Chelsea College of Arts community and propose an ‘Exchange’ with the artist to receive, in Freeborn’s case, a stunning photo portrait in return. From 22-25 April 2015 in the Cookhouse at Chelsea College of Arts, London.
When something of value doesn’t need to cost anything
In a contemporary take on an old-fashioned barter economy, whereby makers exchanged goods and services instead of money, artist Gavin Freeborn continues a 4-year journey of swapping his photographs for food, hospitality, or learning something new. He calls this venture, “Freeborn Exchange“, and since 2011, his “travelling portrait project” has taken him to 20 countries so far, resulting in hundreds of stories captured along with the portraits of the people he’s met.
This month [April 2015], Freeborn proposes a new “Exchange” which takes place in London at the Cookhouse, Chelsea College of Arts. He selected the artworks, each piece related to travel or exchange, from the Chelsea College of Arts community, with international artists/alumni, students, and staff taking part. Chelsea College of Arts’ Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Wainwright also joined the project, whose research interests include photography, moving image, and spaces both urban and natural. During the 4-day show, there are works from disciplines that traverse fine art, graphic design communications, and interior/spatial/textile design, along with opportunities to meet Freeborn in his “pop-up portrait studio”, and perhaps propose a swap of your own.
And if a photo portrait isn’t your thing, and you might have something to trade, then come along to the “Freeborn Social Exchange” on Friday evening, 24 April 2015 [5:30PM to 8:00PM] to meet (and possibly barter) with other like-minded creative individuals. And while you’re there, don’t miss the chance to try a local London micro-brew from Brew By Numbers… a company with which, of course, Freeborn made an Exchange.
See how that works? Freeborn proves with a bit of creativity that not everything worth something costs money.
Selected artists in this month’s “Freeborn Exchange” include: Gavin Freeborn with Georgina Hodgson, Anne Lydiat, Martin Newth, Colin Priest, George Sydney Selwyn-Brace, Caryn Simonson, Chris Wainwright and Josh Y’Barbo, along with performances from artists Dan Hernandez and Anna Minshall.
About Gavin Freeborn
In 2001, Gavin Freeborn told the filming crew of Faking It (Channel 4 – Season 3, Episode 1), who attempted to turn him from sheep-shearer to high-class hair dresser, that his dream career was really to be a photographer. “It took a few years”, he said, “but I started shooting in around 2005, which led me to travel over 20 countries worldwide with this documentary photography project.” He calls this project “Freeborn Exchange“. Utilising a barter system, the artist aims to travel free of not just the need for money, but also “the constraints of conventional economics and tourism…” But most importantly, with his photographic portraits, Freeborn hopes to “form instant spontaneous human relationships in an exciting and very real positive way.”
Born in Ireland, Gavin Freeborn currently lives and works in London, where his “Freeborn Travelling Portrait Project” continues.
More links and information about Freeborn Exchange
- Find out more about the upcoming Freeborn Exchange at Chelsea College of Arts in the Cookhouse – 22-25 April 2015 – “Photographic artist Gavin Freeborn trades his portraits for hospitality, skills and objects around the world.”
- Keep up-to-date with what’s going on with Freeborn Exchange on Facebook
- Read about the Freeborn Travelling Portrait Project
- This Freeborn Exchange (April 2015) is sponsored by London micro-brewery, Brew By Numbers. Click the link to read more about Brew by Numbers on Facebook or on the web at www.brewbynumbers.com
Event details: Freeborn Exchange is on from 22 to 25 April 2015 at the Chelsea Cookhouse, Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street, SW1P 4JU. Free admission, step-free access.
22 April 2015 Opening party, 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
23 April 2015 Show open, 11:00 pm to 8:00 pm
24 April 2015 Show open, 11:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Freeborn Exchange Social, 5:30 pm 8:00 pm
25 April 2015 Show open, 10:00 am to 4:00pm
Pop up portrait studio open, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Closing party, 2:00 to 4:00 pm