Steffan HadleyOwner & Founder of the Minitopian Art Gallery
My name is Steffan Hadley and I am a multi-disciplinary artist who currently works with miniatures and photography and have been working with these current processes for the past 4 to 5 years.
I founded the Minitopian Art Gallery back in 2016 however, originally it was part of a little joke I made during a tutorial while studying at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David’s between me and my lecturer Craig Wood. I thought of it as a little joke about the concept and use of the ‘White Space’ and how size seems to be a problem these days, we all want to go bigger and bigger but no one seems to create anything small anymore for an art gallery. I had already bought a dollhouse that day and so the transformation began and with the help of my partner Craig Oldham after one month of deconstructing/reconstructing, wiring, repainting and other tedious task that came with the work we finally opened the gallery and christened it the “Minitopian Art Gallery”.
When we receive works, we will manipulate the pieces to either be bigger than the size they would be or smaller depending on how we feel the works would work perspective wise. With that I will go through the process of editing the levels to allow the pieces when reproduced in their smaller scale to be crisp and clean. We don’t want any of the images to be blurred or dull because it affects the hard work that the artist has put in to creating it.
During our current times, my gallery was able to adapt quite well; true we weren’t able to travel to other galleries and show case not only the gallery itself but the works within it, we were able to become a beacon of hope so to speak for those who wanted to display their pieces in an art gallery. We opened our doors and started live streaming shows on Instagram, giving people the opportunity to see works that were currently being made and open the doors for conversations to start. The gallery has always run by its moto and that is “Changing perspectives since 2016” and that is what it has continued to do even in the current climate. Yes, the moto was originally made for the discussion of how changing the scale of work can add a whole new level of diverse meaning to the piece… but now it has expanded to question how an art gallery can remain current in a time when people can’t visit. Given that it is small of course, the gallery now offers that unique perspective in the world of miniatures in a pandemic but also provides a little hope that even during a global pandemic, pieces of work can still be shown and can give people what they enjoy, a form of escapism.