into a fancy gallery space. where you‘re expected to behave in a certain vvay.’ liver the artist. Arnold regards the building as a player in itself. "The building dictates the style of things that go on here.' he says. ‘In theatre prodttctions the bttilding becomes part of the shovv. It has a user- friendliness about it. so a theatre company can cover the floor in sand or vvater and it doesn‘t matter. which is something you can't say of most theatre spaces. It effects everything: the building is almost a statement that stuns tip the philosophy of the Arches.’ Wells shares his enthusiasm. 'With the Arches. once the doors are closed you can really let go.‘ she says. 'lt adds to the feeling of a genuine event. People

use it like that. too. The National Revievv ()f

Live Art is coming back and the performers vvill be doing all sorts of terrible things to their ovvn bodies. That's OK because anything can

be vvashed off.‘ This being the Arches. the rejuvenation project is far more than a cosmetic exercise.

'The performers will be doing all

terrible things to their own '“« Sarah Wells and Andy Arnold that's OK'

As vvell as giving the continuing programme of theatre. music and nightclubbing a boost. the venue is set to make its mark in the visual arts. adding a dedicated gallery space to the existing one-off art events. The Arches will also cement its reputation for giving breaks to nevv artists and providing resources for

emerging talent. with a Nevv Directors Project and a series of Artists‘ liorums.

'The biggest development vvill be in giving opportunities to young artists of vvhatcvcr discipline to work on their projects here.‘ Arnold says. "There is an unbelievable number of talented people out there vvho need the space to try out their vvork. We're changing the emphasis from only producing performances for an audience to developing nevv art in- house. There's novvhere in (ilasgovv that vvorks as a meeting point for artists to vvork together. and that‘s vvhat vve vvill provide.‘

[it the end. even though the Arches is defined by diversity. experimentation and cultural cross-pollination. the venue's past and future is summed tip in a single sentence by Arnold. vvho has seen his struggling theatre company shift over the last decade into a spravvling multi-media forum. "l'he fundamental philosophy here is simple.’ he says. 'We put creative people in an environment and give them the space to develop their ideas. they just take it from there.‘

The Arches launches on Thu 11 Jan. See Food.

5— ‘19 tar 202” THE lIST 17