Thanet Loop inspired exhibition opens in Cliftonville

Jon Spencer An Ode to the buses of the Thanet Loop

An exhibition inspired by the Thanet Loop bus opens this week.

The Shop Front gallery in Cliftonville sits on the Loop bus route and is hosting the display of work which features video, photography, painting, poetry and more.

The artists’ take on Thanet’s everyday experiences of bus rides and retail officially opens

with a private view on Thursday (January 17).

The opening will feature bus video karaoke, a live poetry performance and a chance to chat with the artists. The exhibition is permanently on view from the street at 161 Northdown Road until the end of January.

Work from artists Jo Murray, Jon Spencer, Dominic Rose and Tanya Royer ranges from distorted portraits of buildings discovered along the route to a karaoke-style presentation of found fan and promotional videos from when the much-loved ‘Dart’ fleet was replaced by the new ‘Enviro’ buses.

Jo Murray Loop Dreams

The Loop exhibition is the first of a series of site-specific group shows planned by local visual artist Jo Murray. She said: “I was interested in creating a piece that was a riff on the many meanings of a Loop. Travelling the Loop can be an interesting experience, a soporific one and sometimes a very mundane one. I wanted to re-create a trance like experience of travelling the route and invited other artists to provide their perspectives, with some interesting results.”

Dominic Rose Ramsgate Lift

The Shop Front co-founder and artist Jon Spencer said: “The Shop Front is my studio and a project space for local artists and community groups. This exhibition was a chance to use the gallery space to its full potential. Part of my response was to map the route of the long demised Isle of Thanet Trams and the Ramsgate to Margate Sands railway line against the current bus route. Walking these roads and paths, I began to hear the boneshaker trams rattle past and see the smoke of the old steam trains billow into the distance. We hope the exhibition awakens a range of local memories and responses.”