• Katy Hillier


On March 26th 2019, DEEP FAT FRIED: the exhibition opened at The Crypt in Bristol. Organised by Daisy and Ella, they had wanted to provide a platform for weird and wacky artworks, perhaps ones that aren’t favoured as much by the traditional White Cubists and TATE fans.

What started off as a uni assignment for work experience, turned into an exciting and colourful event with hundreds of attendees and interest in our ideas and perspective in the artworld. The exhibition brought the four of us together and became the starting point for what is now Deep Fat Fried Collective.

I was one of the exhibiting artists. I was still exploring my practice and trying to work out where it sat within the art world, so the idea of an exhibition full of weird and unusual art really drew me in. Anna was one of the exhibition’s visitors. Here she had conversations with Daisy and Ella about how there should be more inclusion within the art world and what makes art good or bad.

The experience sparked many discussions between the four of us, about the industry, starting a collective and what this might entail, until in February 2020 we decided to turn our dreams into a reality!

And then, just as we began planning work and exhibitions together, COVID-19 and Lockdown hit - in short, the world went to 💩. We each scrambled to find a base, a ‘studio’ space and get to work on finishing our degree, but we didn’t let Covid stop us and our plans for Deep Fat Fried Collective.

In April 2020 we successfully applied for the UWE Enterprise Summer Start-Up Scholarship. In June 2020, once we completed our final uni modules we began work on this exciting opportunity. We gained so much knowledge and support from working with the Enterprise team and we used this time to grow our community and develop our first big project - New Realities!

Throughout Covid and the first lockdown, we persevered to create an exhibition for graduate artists and a platform to discuss the effects that Covid and lockdown had on their practices.

After New Realities, we sadly said goodbye to Ella and wished her well for the future. Without Ella and her co-creation of that initial exhibition who knows what may have happened. Without her dedication and hardwork we may not have got to where we are today.

Since New Realities we’ve taken some time to reflect on what we’ve achieved. We’ve been considering our goals and making plans for where we want to take Deep Fat Fried in the future.

It’s been a long journey to get here and we’ve had a lot of help along the way. Thank you to Ella, the UWE Enterprise team, our mentors and all of the artist’s we’ve worked with for all of your support along the way.

Most importantly we want to thank you (yes you reading this!). Without the support of the community we’ve grown we wouldn’t be where we are today. You guys motivate us to keep creating and keep going so thank you. We’re all looking forward to bringing you some exciting projects in the future. Let’s catch up in another 2 years - I wonder where we’ll all be!

From Katy, Daisy and Anna

P.S. If you wanna see more of the original exhibition then head to our YouTube page to watch!

P.P.S. New Realities is still live so if you haven’t seen it or fancy having another look then click here.

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