Guts Gallery aims to provide financial support and exhibition opportunities for artists less platformed within today’s contemporary art scene. Our desire is to facilitate space and exposure for BAME artists, female artists, working-class artists, queer artists, and artists outside of London (bridging the North/South divide).
Through initiating relationships between established and emerging artists, we can create an inclusive and diverse arts community, with a dynamic and interesting creative working environment to produce new structures that enable emerging artists to have the exposure they are often denied.
The distribution of wealth within the arts operates on a model which mirrors that of wider social austerity; it disproportionately benefits people who do not experience racial oppression, gender or class discriminations. In order to facilitate the success of struggling artists, individuals in the art world and institutions who are financially and creatively influential need to recognise and discuss the lack of resources available to a large number of artists who are systematically disadvantaged and unheard.
Ellie Pennick is the founder of Guts Gallery. She is a queer, working-class artist from North Yorkshire. After leaving university in the Summer of 2017, she was accepted onto a Sculpture Masters course at the Royal College of Art. However, due to limited funds, she was unable to study there.
This spurred her on to think about how she could create a business venture that could benefit other struggling artists like herself. Many people are scared to speak out about inequality in the art world, often in fear of their own precarious positions being compromised. Pennick, through the creation of Guts Gallery, wanted a gallery that could speak out, a gallery with the guts to protest.