The Night-Time Economy: an exhibition by Kate Mercer and SJ Fowler in Newport and London

A collaborative exhibition of photography and poetry exploring the often fractious energy and environment of Newport, Wales' nightclubs and pubs. Conceived and created in close collaboration between photographer Kate Mercer and poet & artist SJ Fowler, this exhibition will play off the complimentary possibilities for expressive abstraction in both visual and linguistic mediums, all centred around the complexity, energy and intensity of Newport on Friday and Saturday nights.

A detailed description of how the project came to be, by Kate Mercer, can be found here and an interview with Ben Glover of the Wales Arts Review, which explains further the exhibition and its process can be found here

Both Special View events on April 6th and July 19th will feature events celebrating the exhibition with new performances and the presence of Poetry Wales. The poetry in the exhibition will be presented in English and Welsh, the latter translated by Eurig Salisbury.

Newport: The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre April 6th to 30th 2016. (Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.)
Address: Ground Floor Gallery, The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre, Kingsway, Newport. NP20 1HG
Special View - April 6th 2016. Videos from the readings by SJ Fowler, Nia Davies & Eurig Salisbury, followed by Q&A, below.

London: Rich Mix Gallery - July 18th to 29th 2016 (Monday - Sunday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
Address: Rich Mix Cinema & Arts Centre, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London E1 6LA

From the Special View Rich Mix Gallery - Tuesday July 19th 2016 

Readings & performances from SJ Fowler, Nia Davies, Ghazal Mosadeq, Marcus Slease & Vanni Bianconi. Expect new poetry responding to the themes of the exhibition, all free, from 7pm in the gallery itself, just off the Rich Mix Cafe.

From the Newport Opening: April 6th 2016


From two completely different sides of the UK, S.J. Fowler and Kate Mercer identified with each other through a shared experience of working in the night-time economy. With Steven previously employed in nightclub security, and Kate as a bar manager in Newport, both felt an intense connection to the alternative reality of this world, and through this exhibition, reflect on how this environment changed them and their work.

The project's primary focus has been Newport, but not as an exception. The Night-Time Economy reflects Newport without judgement or irony, it is documentation in image and abstract language. With Newport undergoing a period of regeneration and redevelopment, the exhibition aims to recognise the role that the arts can play in celebrating the city, by its very presence. This project focuses on the multifaceted components of Newport's Night-time economy, pursuing a neutrality of topic whilst preserving a loyalty to the place.

This project has been made possible through a ‘Research & Development’ grant by the Arts Council of Wales with support from The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre (Newport) and Rich Mix Cinema & Arts Centre (London) for which the artists express their thanks.

Kate Mercer -

Kate Mercer ’s personal photographic practice explores cultural uses of photography, specifically human relationships with memory and perception through the physicality of photographs. Using both found and self-sourced imagery as starting points, she aims to examine and explore the role of photography as document and self-constructed utopian record. Her work has been exhibited across the UK and abroad. This is her first collaborative project.

S.J. Fowler –

SJ Fowler is a poet and artist. He has published multiple collections of poetry and been commissioned by Tate Modern, the British Council, Tate Britain and is currently in residence at Wellcome Collection. He has been translated into 16 languages and performed at venues across the world, from Mexico City to Erbil, Iraq. He is the poetry editor of 3am magazine, Lecturer at Kingston University, teaches at Tate Modern and is the curator of the Enemies project.