12 October 2011
JONATHAN McCREE and Paul Statham respond to the extraordinary Asylum Chapel space with a series of paintings and a soundscape, which will play in the space throughout a weekend. There will be a live performance of music composed especially for the event on each of the two days. The collaboration explores the nature and value of sacred spaces and rituals, whether public or private, sacred or secular. The paintings and music will offer a dialogue with the unique atmosphere and architecture of the chapel.
The Caroline Gardens ‘Asylum’ Chapel in Peckham, forms the heart of London’s largest complex of almshouses. The complex dates from the late 1820s and despite being called an asylum, the grade 2 listed site was not a home for lunatics but an old folks home or ‘sanctuary’ for retired pub landlords.
During the 2nd World War, the Asylum was bombed and the chapel almost completely gutted by an incendiary device. Astonishingly, its important stained glass windows and carved stone funerary monuments survived. The chapel was deconsecrated in the late 1950s and has been largely un-used since.
This beautiful building is now on English Heritage’s ‘buildings at risk’ list. Clearly, the greatest risk would be for the site once again to be abandoned and left un-used for a further 50 years.
The work in this exhibition collages the ambient sounds and traces from several sacred spaces around London together with the sounds of more everyday, secular rituals; the making of morning coffee, striking a match, laying a table for a meal.
These found sounds are looped and replayed alongside paintings that take ritual, repetition and pattern as their themes. Can the atmosphere of a former place of worship be re-booted by the sounds and images of contemporary rituals?
The Asylum Chapel,
Peckham, London. SE15 2SQ.
Saturday October 22nd
and Sunday October 23rd 2011.
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