Neville Gabie

More Together Than Alone – 2020 – 2022



Better Together Part 3 

More Together Than Alone       September 3rd 2021 January 3rd 202

Curated by Neville Gabie and Tessa Jackson OBE

 Neville Gabie and the people of Watchet  – Suzanne Lacy and thepeople of Pendle – Deanna Payne

What does it mean to be part of a community? How important is a sense of belonging and place? In 2019 Contains Art, acknowledging its community roots, invited Neville Gabie, as artist and co-curator, to explore these questions and consider what contributes to our sense of identity and togetherness.

Unable to meet people in person [Covid restrictions], Neville connected from a distance. Drawn to the maritime tradition of ships in bottles, magical gifts that could link people, he invited the people of Watchet to make bottles capturing what they valued about their community and the place where they lived. Over 100 bottles hold traces of treasured activities, hopes and emotions. Grounded in a shared history and sense of place, they reveal an energy built on personal relationships and communal care. 

Bottles made by members of the community for the project. In all just under 150 bottles were made specifically for this exhibition.

Neville Gabie considered community from his own perspective. His three works, inspired by the sentiments within the bottles, act as a metaphor for the town and a reminder of the importance of those around us. Several are evocative of events and celebrations. The Chairs, grafted together for instance, or the audio visual sound installation with with sound of china plates being placed drifting from underneath the work. His photograph referencing French impressionist painter Pierre-August Renoir’s ‘Luncheon of the Boating Party’ employs the artistic tradition of reinterpretation, to bring members of the community together after months of restrictions.  The works pay homage to what we have lost but hope to regain. 

For this first exhibition at East Quay it was important to offer a platform to one of Watchet’s own creative young people. Deanna Payne, an emerging performance poet and artist, was commissioned to create a personal reflection on her community. An Armchair to Nowhere, a poem as well as a film, combines the everyday with the magical and acts as a modern-day folk story that, as Deanna puts it, preserves the town in a ‘pantry of the mind’. 

More Together Than Alone continues upstairs in Gallery 2 with The Circle and the Square by the American artist Suzanne Lacy, created in collaboration with the people of Pendle, Lancashire. Contemplating the demise of the textile industry, it reflects on shared work experiences and what holds us together, regardless of background.

Tessa Jackson OBE 

Deanna Payne 









Suzzane Lacy 









Neville Gabie would like to thank Everyone for their wonderfully imaginative bottles. They have been the inspiration for this exhibition. All those who participated in creatingBetter Together part 3: Simon Brown, Sarah Elwood and Stan, Edward Frewin, Georgie Grant, George Harwood-Smith  Sonia Hiley, Cosmo Johnston, Dave Milton, Ryan Nunn, Molly Quint, Chris Spink, John Thwaites, Sally Turner and Tom Wedlake.

Photographer Glyn Jarrett who documented the whole exhibition and worked alongside Neville in creating Better Together Part 3 

Film – Jesse Roth

Artists Deanna Payne and Suzzane Lacy, Co Curator, Tessa Jackson and everyone at East Quay Watchet 

The galleries at East Quay are run by a charity, Contains Art CIO (charity number 1193931), which is founded on the belief that who you are, where you live and what you have, should not constrain access to creativity and culture. All donations to the Gallery and Contains Art are reinvested in art, culture and arts education. See