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Democratizing Art in our Ritual Life

MA 2020/2022
Inclusivity, Space, Artists, Ritual, Exhibition, Gallery

MicroGallery is a matching-service between fine artworks and small public spaces. This micro-gallery enables the general public to enjoy the benefit of art as well as making art circulate from artists’ studios to a variety of public spaces.


We have three strong partners: The Artists’ Pool, OPEN Ealing and Brighton Festival.

The Artists’ Pool has varieties of artists who have done many solo and group art exhibitions across the world. Curating and installing artworks are one of their main services. This strong partner has enlarged our artists’ networks and has taught us about curation and installation. OPEN Ealing is a community-based art centre that provides cultural space and arts programmes for Ealing Broadway communities, we observed how local citizens react to group art exhibitions there. Brighton Festival is a large, annual, curated multi-arts festival in England, they bring the arts and culture to a wide and diverse audience at a world class level.

Thanks to their expertise in each area, our project is strongly supported and validated by society, community and artists’ perspectives.


Art has the value to bring well-being and make sense of expression of life.

However, the general public have lost the value of art since art was pushed into the galleries and museums, which is far from citizen’s ritual.

From our initial research, the general public feel that art is not relevant to them, art is for privileged classes and one needs a wealth of knowledge to understand it, which leads to a vicious circle of deepening boundaries between art and citizens.


We tried to find a way to lower the barrier between the general public and art. We created several prototypes to get insights.

1. Ritual atmosphere can lower the barrier of art, then create a safety zone for people.

The data showed art engagement correlates with economic level and educational attainment. So we went to the charity in a church to talk with people who are living on a survival level, to see if art matters to them.

At first, they feel art is too luxurious, which gives them a negative view on galleries and museums. However, one elderly man emphasised the emotional comfortability of street art, such as art on walls or newspapers. And when we bring art to them around their dining table, which is their safety zone, they casually start chatting about art as a group, and express their feelings. 

So we can say that the barrier is the luxury-image of art, and ritual atmosphere can lower this barrier.

2. Audience feedback emotionally connects artists with the public. This connection brings them satisfaction as artists and social contributors.

To understand the relation between artists and general public, we curated a group art exhibition under the theme of local community - which is family bonding - in Ealing Broadway.

Some audiences were really happy to share their understanding of art with their own family experiences for artists. While we thought the appreciation towards artists is only related to art sales, this feedback gave the artists pleasure and confidence. As a result, getting audience feedback emotionally connects artists with the public and this connection brings them satisfaction as artists and social contributors.


Help citizens regain the value of art by democratizing the arts in their ritual life and by closing the gap in their prejudice, such as “art is boring, requires an expert understanding or exclusive”. Explore an art-based social prescription, in order to improve their perception, health and happiness. 


Our solution is a matching-service between fine art works and small public spaces. This micro-gallery enables the general public to enjoy the benefit of art as well as making art circulate from artists’ studios to a variety of public spaces.

MicroGallery has value in lots of aspects:

  1. MicroGallery supports emerging artists by connecting them with society, resulting in their well-being
  2. MicroGallery enhances the local economy and makes citizens feel that they are part of the community linked to their emotional safety and comfortability
  3. MicroGallery contributes to citizens’ perception, health and happiness by bringing art into their ritual life

A special thanks to Renee in the Artists’ pool and Mandie from OPEN Ealing and Andrew in the Brighton Festival for guiding us throughout the project. To our tutor Judah Armani for his unwavering support and to our Head of Programme Clive Grinyer for pushing us to think further. We would also like to give a special thanks to all the artists who accepted our interviews on your busy days.

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