Arts Means Business - 6th October - 17th December

Arts Means Business 

Celebrating the history, innovation and future of Harlow.


In the 50’s Harlow was part of a utopian vision, a place where lives could be started afresh where work and leisure thrived in supportive communities. There were flourishing leading industries that sadly declined in the 80’s. Through major business investment and a growing recognition that arts and culture are integral to its growth the time is right to integrate these elements, highlight the appeal of Harlow and boost its economy.

It will be 50 years, in 2016, since Sir Charles Kao and George Hockham (Nobel prize winners) invented Fibre Optics here in Harlow. We want to celebrate this life changing innovation by hosting an exhibition that captures the essence of past, present and future capabilities of business including leading major companies as well as smaller independents. An exhibition that captures the essence of past, present and future capabilities of local business, in a creative way.

The exhibition will be an intriguing combination of innovation, illumination and communication, site specific commissions and surprising pieces submitted from companies in and around the town. 

Artist Residencies

As part of this celebratory exhibtion we have created three artist in residency projects in leading businesses in Halow. The artists have been working in their paired business since April 2015, investigating the businesses history, materials they use as well as talking to collegues to help them respond creativley and create artwork which will represent the business. 


 Artist Sarah Brown has been working with Raytheon - a global firm developing radar technologies with the Harlow site being the company's new technology centre and business headquarters.



Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services, and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Local artist and felt maker Connie Flynn has been working with Arrow to create a large textile piece.






Artist Valerie Inns has been working with innovative lighting company Astro lighting. This business has thrived through its site in Harlow, and now ships worldwide and designs products which are used in designs for 5 star hotels and RIBA award winning buildings.



Jamie Gledhill will also be creating a virtual residency which will look at and play with creating an interactive piece which observes, reflects and challenges Harlow’s aesthetic, its post-war collections and the unique utopian New Towns values. Jamie’s findings will be tracked online under the hashtag #gibberdvirtualresidency.  


Business Innovation

Small businesses will also be represented through interesting, beautiful, unusual and useful objects being creatively displayed. This offers the viewer a look into these businesses which are often hidden behind gates. The businesses chosen each work in innovative ways to progress their business and the use of technology plays a vital role in most of what they do.

Businesses included are Smiths Aerospace, Lumino Lighting, Apple Services, SEKO and GaurdHome.


Business Networking and Launch Event - Tuesday 11th October 6pm – 7pm

An event with contributions from local artists and business leaders in Harlow to encourage connections between and among businesses and communities. Guests are invited to bring their business card to be displayed and be part of a prize draw. Come to get inspired and find out more about Harlow’s heritage and future plans for Harlow’s development.

List of Speakers

Ian Hudson, Chairman of Harlow Chamber

How has business developed in Harlow and where is the future of Harlow Businesses?

Chris Snow, Harlow Art Trust Trustee

The vision of the Harlow Art Trust and its future aspirations

James Bassant, Astro Design Director

What does building communities and links with Harlow's arts scene mean to our business?

John Keddie, Chairman Harlow Enterprise Zone Board

Harlow’s industrial heritage, how the Enterprise Zone will reinvigorate that and how this can support the arts

Councillor Jon Clempner, Leader of the Council

Harlow's future development of arts and business

Corrina Dunlea, Gibberd Gallery Director

How can the art and business work together and the future Harlow Sculpture Town


Gibberd Gallery,
Civic Centre,
The Water Gardens,
Essex CM20 1WG


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telephone: 01279446404