An interview with Tom Stockley of SPACE37
I wanted to find out how he built such an audience in his time at Falmouth — and if he has any words of wisdom for those who wanted to follow suit.
This week I spoke to Tom Stockley, who’s an event managing mastermind.
He, alongside his team, a collective known as SPACE 37, hosted some of the best grassroots exhibitions, parties and events for students, by students. I wanted to find out how he built such an audience in his time at Falmouth — and if he has any words of wisdom for those who wanted to follow suit.
What’s the story behind SPACE 37?
The first thing that kicked it off was having the garage space – but any space would work. Putting on events and collaborating with different kinds of artists came from a point of boredom and frustration that we were all creative people with not enough platforms to show our work outside of the structure of university
Has hosting events broadened your music taste?
It’s made me appreciate types of music that I didn’t know as much about before – like Escape Wave’s synthpop or glider’s shoegaze influenced stuff. It’s made me more critical too, i’ve got to the point when I’m only really interested in artists that are experimenting with sound and making stuff in a new way. Coming at it from a Fine Art background kinda helps – I think about music in broader terms rather than technically but that can help sometimes
What was the most difficult part of running SPACE 37?
Accepting the fact that everything can and will go wrong at some point – people not turning up, equipment failing, putting the wrong acts together. But it’s the only way of learning; once everything’s gone wrong nothing really phases you any more
What’s the best thing you’ll take out of running an organisation alongside uni?
I’d say we’ve ran it outside of uni rather than alongside. Aside from individual tutors and technicians and winning the FXU award, we’ve never had much interest or support from uni with what we do. But that’s kind of on purpose – we wanted to know how to be artists rather than students, and I think we’ve done that. The best thing about what we do is the ridiculous amount of talent – without the ideas and skills of all the musicians, poets, visual artists, dancers and everyone else we’ve worked with, we’d be nothing. I guess it’s being proud of what everyone does and knowing that you couldn’t do it without them
What’s the plan for the future?
Take what we’ve learnt from Falmouth and go bigger! We’ll be based in Bristol so hopefully will be back here at some point – we’ve got pretty strong links down here so we’re not gone for good. And we know that there’s loads of people here who are doing similar stuff, so we’re well up for supporting them any way we can – shout out to FLUCKSUS, Red Van Recordings, internethacker and everyone else who’s doing the stuff we love.
You can keep up with SPACE 37’s moments on their Facebook page.