Couple turn caravan into touring art gallery

A couple have turned their vintage caravan into a touring art gallery
A couple have turned their vintage caravan into a touring art gallery

Tuesday, 20, Dec 2011 11:16

by Tom Lowenstein

A Portsmouth couple have turned the whole notion of caravanning on its head by converting their vintage 1969 tourer into a travelling art gallery.

Having recently published their third book of photography, Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale spend their time travelling around in the mustard-yellow caravan, taking pictures and displaying them in their caravan.

In their latest book, 'Is Britain Great? 3', they use weird, wonderful and bluntly realistic photographs to pose questions about contemporary Britain, the News in Portsmouth reported.

Readers of their book will find photographs of pigeons enjoying a cream tea, graffiti scrawled to amusing effect on billboards and grey photographs of second hand car yards, all of which are designed to get audiences thinking about Britain in the 21st century.

Travelling to an area, Jan and Chris will get a feel for the place, wandering around and snapping photos before returning with their developed images exhibited in their mobile gallery for the locals to enjoy.

"We take it to places galleries can't reach and get all kinds of visitors," Jan told the local newspaper.

"If we're at an art event we'll have artists and curators coming in, but we might also be at shopping centres or festivals.

"A lot of people come in out of curiosity and end up staying. Some come in just because they like caravans."

Having bought the caravan for just £250, the artistic couple turned it into the Caravan Gallery in 2000 and have been travelling around in it ever since.

Despite converting the inside into a genuine art gallery, they decided to hold onto the brown curtains and flowery upholstery so that it keeps the feel of a vintage caravan.

Now the Caravan Gallery has become their full-time jobs.

Famous British fashion designer Paul Smith loved the Caravan Gallery so much he flew it out to Japan for an exhibition outside one of his stores.

"We've invented for ourselves quite a bizarre job," Jan admitted.

Jan and Chris are not the only ones taking art on tour in their caravan however.

Currently based in Nottingham, artist and designer Annelise Atkinson has turned her vintage caravan into a travelling 'zine library known as the Caribou Boutique.

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