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Traversing Borders

Exotero has partnered with YAMI-ICHI to present Traversing Borders: a participatory, digital programme to help emerging and underrepresented artists find their footing in the art industry. At the core of this project is a non-monetary art auction: a novel iteration of the art market that challenges common perceptions of art as commodity.

We are delighted to be joined by four multidisciplinary, contemporary artists based across the UK who will be selling their work in our auction. In the lead up to the art auction, each artist is also staging a series of events and digital content – free and open to all! From creative activities to panel discussions to blog posts, there is sure to be something for everyone.


April 22, 18:00 – BEYOND THE PRICE TAG Webinar Panel Discussion
April 24, 12:00 – Studio Tour with Shani Haquin
April 24, 17:30 – Work Mud, Play Bingo with Rebecca Tucker
April 24, 19:00 – What We Do At Parties with Henry Blackwell
Digital content by artist Mernywernz
May 8, 15:00: Money Can’t Buy You Art: Non-Monetary Art Auction

BEYOND THE PRICE TAG: Alternative Ways of Valuing Art

Thursday 22 April, 18:00 – 19:00, BST, Zoom

An honest conversation interrogating the art market, with speakers from three innovative art startups and projects in the UK. Featuring Gatekeeper Magazine, New Grooves Gallery and Groock’s Gallery, the panel will explore new ways we can value art – beyond the price tag!

STUDIO TOUR with Shani Haquin

Saturday 24 April, 12:00-12:20,BST, IGTV

Get to know Shani, as she will be sharing insights into her unique practice, including her selection of reference images from protests in her home country of Israel to technical elements of her practice such as preliminary drawings, paint layering and colour.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about images of protest or you want to get exclusive access to some of Shani’s newest works, you are bound to find something that sparks your interest on Shani’s studio tour!

WORK MUD, PLAY BINGO with Becky Tucker

Saturday 24 April, 17:30 – 18:30, BST, Zoom

Get to know Glasgow-based sculptor Rebecca Tucker through her demo of ceramic processes and a fun game of Symbol Bingo! Whether you’re a pottery enthusiast or just enjoy sticking your fingers in clay, you are bound to learn something from Becky’s unique process.

WHAT WE DO AT PARTIES with Henry Blackwell

Saturday 24 April, 19:00-20:00,BST Zoom

This is a highly choreographed party and your body is invited !

Together we will perform the party. Take the actions associated with celebration and distill them into simple, gestural, repeatable movements which will be performed together to create a new work of art. No dance or theatre experience needed.


Digital content on the website

Over the course of the Traversing Borders programme, artist Mernywernz will be documenting their thoughts, feeling and insights via a Project Journal on their website.

In their most recent post, Merny details their thoughts on the Non-Monetary Art Exchange and features notable swaps they’ve made in the past. These include painting murals in the UK, Germany and Mexico in exchange for studio space, menthol cigarettes or sometimes nothing at all! Find out more about Merny’s practice and keep up to date on their involvement in Traversing Borders!


Browse their artworks and ideal offers!
What would you offer in exchange for your favourite piece?


I’m a sculptor living and working in Glasgow. My practice revolves around finding ways to represent duality and paradox with recurring themes of body, character, object, indulgence and guilt. I explore these themes through recurring motifs and symbols. I work in a variety of different media including drawing and moving image but at the moment my primary focus is working with ceramic. I throw on the wheel and hand build – any excuse to play with mud!

Instagram @b_e_ndy

Snake & Hand Vase from Dual, 35 x 28 x 28cm, Glazed Stoneware. 2020
Double Snake Vase from Slough series, 28 x 18 x 18cm, Glazed Stoneware. 2020.
  • Exhibition opportunity
  • Unusual space to install/photograph work
  • Assistance in photographing work in future projects
  • Collaborative projects
  • I love motorbikes, food and horses so anything to do with those!


I’m 21. I’m 900,000 years old. I’m an artist. I’m a brother. I’m a comedian. I’m a worker. I’m an eater. I’m a drinker. I’m a chef. I’m a painter. I’m a son. I’m a sleeper. I’m a writer. I’m not an Everyman, I am every man. I work largely with performative interventions in public spaces. Subtle reimagining’s of what is possible on and in the land that surrounds me; can one party in a building site or play on a dance machine in the garden?

My work deals with local history, invented history, labour, overwhelm, gesture, leisure and how we spend our free time, the commodification of this ‘leisure time’ and recontextualising the actions associated with fun and freedom and joy. It’s a choreographed party and my body is the only guest. Central to most of this work though is an exploration of narrative, place and time, language/communication and movement (of objects and people).

Instagram: @henryblackwell_


What We Do At Parties
(video, 3 mins 3 secs) Available as a piece of collaborative performance

This Hole Is A Hell Hole (acrylic on canvas, 65cm x 80 cm)
  • Access to a choir to perform a piece of work for me 
  • Studio space in a foreign city – allowing access to new spaces and histories to inform new work 
  • A network rail pass – in order to travel easily to new places to make and perform work 
  • Access to dancers to perform and choreograph work with me 


I am a painter and artist working and living in London. I take my inspiration from human experiences, currently focusing on images I took in different protests taking place in my home country, Israel. My work explores the material aspect of painting as physical, intellectual, and emotional labour. I try to create paintings that are colorful, semi-figurative yet with abstract elements, featuring crowds of people engaging in a shared powerful experience. 

Instagram: @haquinshani

Was it all, 70cm X 100cm, oil painting, vanished, 2021
  • Free studio space for the summer (June/ July/ August).
  • Art Materials (Oil colours, canvases, mediums and brushes.)
  • One and a half month rent-free room. 
  • A solo show
  • A press and social media management with followers. 


I am documenting an ongoing artistic exploration of the emergent post truth, post internet age of technology we are living through and its potential side effects. My images are informed by the veracity of online meme culture, a cynical world view and a love of technical illustrations and diagrams. My style is vibrant and frenetic. It may appear naive, but contains intricate details and pertinent critiques of our times. My portfolio of cryptic diagrams, nonsensical cutaways and frenzied murals aim to embrace imperfection and encourage a sense of creative and technical nonchalance. 

Most recent work produced since early 2020 deals with the unavoidable presence of our friend, covid19, and the absence of certainty and abundance of hopelessness. Of particular interest to me is the rise of online conspiracies and misinformation. The impression that people no longer know what is real and are becoming increasingly divided by their ideological commitments. A growing crisis, which is being facilitated by tech corporations and dreaded “algorithms”.  

Instagram: @mernywernz

Watercolour & Gouache 
Friendly Priest 
Watercolour & Gouache 
  •  A stay on a boat or another interesting location to get inspired by.
  • Help getting my work into shops, gallery or reach a wider audience.
  • Opportunities to paint a large wall or produce further projects .
  • Sponsorship for materials
  • An unusual experience or activity.

Below, you will find a series of interviews, opinion editorials and participatory events all about reimagining transaction and value in the art world!


On April 22, Exotero and YAMI-ICHI presented BEYOND THE PRICE TAG: Alternative Ways of Valuing Art, a fantastic panel discussion with four speakers from some of the UK’s most innovative art projects, as part of TRAVERSING BORDERS. Featuring speakers from Gatekeeper Magazine, New Grooves Gallery and Groock’s Gallery, the panel shared their insights on how…

Gatekeeper Review

by Isabel Featuring work from Honor Freeman/This is Not a Cult, Eline Benjaminsen, Matthew Burrows/Artist Support Pledge, Max Haiven, Charles Maddocks/Marley Gape, C-Jaye Newton and Robin Tarbet/Swap Editions, the first issue of Gatekeeper offers up resources and insights into the use of ‘transactions’ within the art market, making transparent the ins and outs of trading…

Visual Arts Open Workshop Review

by Charlotte Back in January 2021, I attended the Visual Arts Open Workshop led by the Barbican Centre, Chisenhale Gallery and Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts). The workshop was a precursory event to support the launch of the Chisenhale and Barbican Curatorial Trainee initiatives; two exciting opportunities that I want to publicise to the…

In Conversation with Jahnavi Inniss

Over the winter months, Exotero is partnering with YAMI-ICHI to present Traversing Borders: an exciting digital programme of participatory events, digital content and a non-monetary art auction. We sat down with artist Jahnavi Inniss on a chilly Tuesday morning to bring you this exclusive interview! Have a watch or read the transcript below! Jahnavi is…

In Conversation with Sachiko Osawa (2)

Over the winter months, Exotero is partnering with YAMI-ICHI to present Traversing Borders: an exciting digital programme of participatory events, digital content and an online auction. We sat down with Sachi, the founder of YAMI-ICHI on a cosy Sunday evening to bring you this exclusive interview. This is Part 2 of our conversation, where we…

In Conversation with Sachiko Osawa (1)

Over the winter months, Exotero is partnering with YAMI-ICHI to present Traversing Borders: an exciting digital programme of participatory events, digital content and a non-monetary art auction. We sat down with Sachi, the founder of YAMI-ICHI, on a cosy Sunday evening to bring you this exclusive interview. This is Part 1 of our conversation, in…


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