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155 Vauxhall Street, The Oval, London SE11 5RH

We are pleased to announce that the inaugural project to celebrate the re-opening of Gasworks Gallery following stage one and two of Lay Out – Gasworks refurbishments will be:
BORN FREE – A Melodrama
A new performance by Lali Chetwynd
Thursday 4th November 2004 6-9pm

Born Free, a new commission for Gasworks Gallery is Lali Chetwynd’s most ambitious work to date and will involve a cast of players and a large scale installation, in which a key scene from the well known 1966 film Born Free, will be re-enacted. Chetwynd and her collaborators will act out the moving story of Joy Adamson and her husband, Kenya game warden George Adamson, who raised a wild lion cub named Elsa. When Elsa approaches maturity, Joy determines she must re-educate Elsa to living in the wild so that the lioness can return to a free life. Born Free will see Gasworks Gallery transformed into a jungle, complete with a cast of exotic animals who will interact with the audience as the piece progresses.

Chetwynd’s practice as an artist explores representations and expressions of ugliness, unfamiliarity, humour and the creation of cultural icons. Working in painting, collage and large-scale collaborative performance, Chetwynd recreates iconic moments from the histories of both art and cinema re-enacting them in a deliberately improvised and amateurish style. Previous works have taken stories from familiar popular films such as Conan the Barbarian, cult classics such as Fountainhead and the legendary music video, Thriller by Michael Jackson. This practice also takes in re-workings of well known performance art works, such as Yves Klein’s famed ‘Anthropometries’ painting performance.

Chetwynd’s performance works are always created with a team of collaborators who take part as characters and are sometimes only informed of their roles hours before the performance begins. As a result, the theatrical tableaux that Chetwynd creates have an atmosphere of carnival and a feeling of orchestrated misbehaviour. The costumes that Chetwynd creates are integral to the performances and are constructed from lo-fi materials and found objects, and often add humour to the proceedings.

Chetwynd has staged performances as part of Tate/Egg Live 2003, at Tate Britain; Evidence at the Essor Gallery Project Space; and at Nerd, Electricity Showrooms, Shoreditch. She co-curated Gatsby, a group show including sixty nine artists at the New Lansdowne Club in Hackney, and has been included in a number of group shows, including Picture Room, at Gasworks Gallery, An Evening With Jabba the Hut at The International 3, Manchester, and the forthcoming New Contemporaries in Liverpool.

Lali Chetwynd is represented by Millers Terrace.

Gasworks Gallery is open Wednesday - Sunday 12-6pm. Admission is free. Gasworks Gallery has full wheelchair access.

The Gas Board

Launch of first Gasworks Gallery Billboard project by Eileen Perrier
Thursday 4th November 2004, 6-9pm

As part of the proposed 2003/04 redevelopments and refurbishments of 155 Vauxhall Street, Gasworks Gallery and public works (art/architecture team Kathrin Böhm, Andreas Lang and Seki Hirano) have developed a street-level display area that will act as a permanent billboard on the front of the building, called The Gas Board.

This feature has been integrated into the front door design and will be used as a space for artists' commissions that will see new high quality, innovative and experimental work being produced by four artists per year in collaboration with four local groups. The Gas Board will be an exciting addition to Gasworks’ exhibition programme and it is hoped that the very public presence of the commissioned works will assist in attracting new audiences to Gasworks; passers by as well as specially targeted audiences.

Each of the commissions will be launched to coincide with the opening of an exhibition at Gasworks Gallery. Three of the commissioned artists will be selected by Gasworks Gallery, while the fourth commission will be an open submission.

The first of the selected artists for the billboard commission is Eileen Perrier.

Eileen Perrier
Eileen Perrier is a photographer whose formal portraits bring together individuals from a broad spectrum, united by the specifics of their location and by a sense of ease, empathy and collaboration between artist and subject. Her exhibitions include Brixton Studio, Photographer’s Gallery, London, 2002, Africa Today: The Artist and the City, Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, 2001, and The Black Hair and Beauty Show, Centre of Attention, London, 2001.

For the first Gas Board commission which will coincide with the re-launch of the building, Perrier has photographed local residents in the gallery during the refurbishment. Eileen was keen to invite people in so that they could see the building stripped bare and under construction and then come back to see the finished result! The photographic shoots took place on 3rd and 4th of April and 47 local residents took part. The images will be printed by Eileen and distributed to the participants and will be displayed on The Gas Board throughout the first two months of Gasworks re-opening.



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