The Freeborn Exchange Exhibition

Honami Nishi, Japanese Designer © Gavin Freeborn 2014

Honami Nishi, Japanese Designer © Gavin Freeborn 2014

The show is finally happening this week at Chelsea College of Arts in London. Follow and join in with the conversation online if you can’t make it in person. It would be great to hear from readers on social media via the Facebook Event page or @gavinfreeborn on Twitter.


Exhibition dates: Wednesday 22 – Saturday 25 April 2015 

Photographic artist Gavin Freeborn trades his portraits for hospitality, skills and objects around the world.


London based Irish artist Freeborn seeks to take you on a journey of his international adventures. Inspired by artists who barter, he has exchanged his photographic portraits for other skills, objects and hospitality in over 20 countries since November 2011.

Aiming where possible to travel free from the constraints of conventional economics, Freeborn forms spontaneous relationships in an exciting way. He has selected artists from the community of Chelsea College of Arts to show works that relate to travel or exchange.

Freeborn will also host a unique pop-up portrait studio, where you will have the opportunity to meet him, propose a Freeborn Exchange and have your portrait made. You may even get featured on his blog, Facebook, or Twitter.


All welcome / Free entry

Wednesday 22 / Opening party / 5.30-8.00pm

Thursday 23 / Show open / 11.00-8.00pm

Friday 24 / Show open / 11.00-8.00pm

Friday 24 / Freeborn Exchange Social / 5.30-8.00pm

Saturday 25 / Show open/ 10.00-4.00pm 

Saturday 25/ Pop up portrait studio open / 11.00-2.00pm

Saturday 25/ Closing party / 2.00-4.00pm

Location / Cookhouse Gallery, Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street, London, SW1P 4JU.

Chelsea College of Arts is situated in Pimlico, next door to Tate Britain, a five minute walk from Pimlico underground station. The Cookhouse Gallery is just off the corner of the parade ground square.

Directions to Chelsea College of Arts

Feel free to let me know you’re coming via the Facebook Event / @gavinfreeborn on Twitter


Contact / / 07814620306

Karen and Judy, Cantabrians in traditional Red & Black in front of one of Christchurch’s many containers

As Nick and I walked towards a cafe I spotted this eye-catching pale blue shipping container and had an urge to make a portrait with it as the background. I quickly looked around and spotted two ladies walking up the footpath. I could instantly envision their red & black Cantabrian colours in contrast to the blue container so I stepped back and asked them if they’d mind standing in for a portrait. They were more than obliging and I thought it made the perfect finish to my day documenting the anniversary of 22.2 a year on. I will spend another week in the area and hope to continue meeting inspirational people and hearing their stories. The people of Christchurch are quite remarkable in terms of the spirit in their community. An Irish blessing on them! May they grow in strength from day to day! If you are thinking of visiting please do…you will be astounded by the city and it’s inhabitants…

If you want to gain a further appreciation of the events of the past 18 months you should watch this movie by the very talented and adventurous Gerard Smyth

Cracks in a damaged building by Hagley Park, Christchurch

A river of flowers in remembrance on the Avon

Finding the balance between remembering the past and looking forward positively

A high number of lost lives were Chinese and Japanese language students in the CTV building

Nick Lawry

As I was about to leave Hagley Park I noticed Nick shooting a panorama and spoke to him. I was about to do the same but instead I introduced myself and suggested that I link to his panorama which you can see here

Both avid photographers, we ended up spending the afternoon in a cafe talking about life, photography and the events of the last 18 months in Christchurch. Nick is a Cantabrian, a year from being a qualified Geologist (with an interest in earthquakes from a young age), a talented Photographer and a keen snow sportsman.

For me, this quick portrait I made of Nick as the crowd left Hagley Park, represents Nick and his fellow Cantabrians standing tall and proud of their city and region. It will take decades to rebuild Christchurch but you can guarantee that it will rise stronger and more united than ever before!

It was a privilege to meet and spend the afternoon with Nick and I hope we get the chance to collaborate again in the future.