The 30 Second Gallery


On 10 October 2018, our group of five student artists from Chelsea College of Art’s MAFA program decided to jump on the tube and take our original artworks to find an audience in a public place. We visited the vibrant Covent Garden, a busy market with a large pedestrian square surrounding it. In preparation, each of the group members mounted their artwork onto a tetris-shaped boards which allowed our roving group to quickly create a newly-combined artwork at each location.

We placed ourselves in front of restaurant patrons who were seated on outdoor patios to create the illusion that they were our adoring audience. We held our pose and counted out loud to thirty, then the composition would dissolve and we would move to a new location.

Eventually, instinctively, we began to integrate our artwork into the surrounding scenery as we gained familiarity with our outdoor space.

Afterward, we celebrated the day with gin and tonics in the nearby White Lion Pub. We agreed that it had been energizing to take our work outdoors and make it more accessible. The impermanence we created by dissolving the assemblage after thirty seconds meant that it only existed as a memory, but that seemed appropriate as our gin and tonics quickly became only memories as well.