The story of 9A Projects, Robinwood Mill. Opening an independent gallery in a pandemic.
Back in 2019 we secured a large space at Robinwood Mill, Lydgate, Todmorden. The previous occupiers manufactured natural soap in the space. We entered 9A to the smell of rich, pungent oils and despite the relaxing fragrance, we were hit by a realisation that we had a mountain a climb. Clearing the space, making repairs, boarding the walls, cleaning the windows and pondering what to do about the ceiling took time.
At the close of 2019 we held a group show, work by local artists across the Calder Valley. It was a chance for everyone to get together, share work and check-out the new gallery space. Andrew Weatherall popped in, after a night spinning the decks at Todmorden's Golden Lion. Plans and projects were hatched. Then COVID hit.
2020, we panicked, emailed, met virtually, and eventually had socially distanced meetings in the gallery space. Seated in a well-spaced circle, wearing masks - we felt like an installation. Work continued on the space, shows were pencilled-in, then cancelled as we entered a second lockdown.
2021, we've survived, work continues on the space (working on the space is what we do). Our first show opens in June. It features work by Studio Knottswood, artists located at the other side of Lydgate's famous viaduct. We're relieved and excited that something is happening. Watch this space.