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Ambush Street - a 198 Gallery group exhibition

Ambush Street

Group exhibition

Venue: Unit 7E2 Seager Buildings, Brookmill Road, London SE8
Dates: 6 to 30 November 2003
Artists: Steve Williams, Stevie Deas, Brian Hodgson, John Askew, Semonara Chowdhury

Summary: Standing out in contrast with contemporary art that revolves around popular culture, five artists’ works respond to recent local and global events that have contributed to the rise of the ‘culture of fear’. Installation, painting and video comment on the effect of information dissemination by state and media.

Detail: Steve Williams creates an ambitious new installation work in the industrial space of the Old Seager Distillery. Using painting, sculpture, text and sound, he creates an interactive installation containing the narrative of his own bizarre experience of involvement in a terrorist alert. Williams lives and works in Manchester, and has shown his work in many exhibitions.

An intriguing polygonal structure into which the viewer can enter, Stevie Deas’s State of Emergency Bunker simulates the virtual environment of a computer game, asking questions about the media representation of war and terrorism and its effects on people’s perceptions of these events. He is currently undertaking an ACME live/work residency in East London, and has exhibited internationally.

When Brian Hodgson made his action Self-Righteous Attacker, troops were about to enter Iraq. He destroyed images of crowded public places in London screenprinted onto sheet metal, externalising the fears in the minds of the public in an explosive act of catharsis. In this exhibition he shows the resulting work, and a video made from the action. He is a London-based artist and art lecturer.

The inuring effect of media communication is explored in John Askew’s overwhelming creations. Through a process of repetition, he transforms emotionally charged images from television coverage of the war in Iraq into a kaleidoscopic pattern, causing simultaneously an intense visual impact and the overshadowing of the subject in the image. He has been the recipient of many Northern Arts awards.

Semonara Chowdhury’s changing neon text is deceptively simple, yet acts as a catalyst for thoughts relating to the actions of ‘democratic’ states and the consequences of their interventions in global affairs. It also focuses the viewer’s mind on how particular words can be used for propaganda purposes, to represent facts and events in the most expedient light. Chowdhury often uses text in her work.

Ambush Street takes a look at artists’ responses to the state and media information onslaught experienced by ordinary people at street level, presenting a group of timely works that engage with current realities.

PREVIEW: Wednesday, 5 November 2003, 6-9pm

OPENING TIMES: Wednesday–Friday 12-6pm; Saturday & Sunday 11-5pm; or by appointment

FURTHER INFORMATION: For further information, please contact Asako Yokoya, Exhibitions Officer at the 198 Gallery, on 020 7978 8309 or


Supported by:
Lambeth Arts
Association of London Government

198 Gallery supports contemporary art by artists from diverse cultural backgrounds

Patron: Linton Kwesi Johnson


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