Stanley Picker Gallery is curating a series of major art installations by leading contemporary practitioners associated with Kingston University, staged around its spectacular new Town House building. Winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2021 and the Mies van der Rohe Award 2022 the building was designed by 2020 Pritzker Prize and RIBA Gold Medal awardees Grafton Architects.
Kingston School of Art Professors Ben Kelly, Mike Nelson, Elizabeth Price and former Stanley Picker Fellow Yemi Awosile will each be presenting ambitious works to enhance the University’s impressive new public library from 2020 and beyond. A series of short films, featuring the artists talking about their work for Town House, will be made available below accompanying the programme as it develops.
From March 2020 to July 2022:
Mike Nelson presents a selection of recent works from his acclaimed Tate Britain Commission The Asset Strippers (2019). For this ambitious project, Nelson scoured online auctions of UK based company liquidators, sourcing a range of decommissioned manufacturing machinery and equipment to create a collection of ‘monuments’ to post-WW2 Britain. Professor of Fine Art at Kingston School of Art, Nelson was nominated for the Turner Prize both in 2001 and 2007, and represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2011. As originally conceived and commissioned for the Tate Britain Commission, 2019
Ongoing from August 2021:
Yemi Awosile has fused together traditional craft techniques from both Nigeria and Britain in a new commission for Town House. Gele takes its name from the word used for a women’s loosely folded head-dress in the Yoruba language, spoken in Nigeria and West Africa. Nigeria and the UK are aligned through their shared history and same sense of ‘local’ time. Awosile likens the pair of wall-based textiles to clock faces at two moments in time, which she sees as “an expression of a universal diasporic experience; exploring what it means to be momentarily connected and then disconnected from multiple locations”. Other recent projects include collaborations with Tent Rotterdam, Tate Gallery, Contemporary And (C&) magazine and The British Council. Awosile was appointed to the Stanley Picker Fellowships at Kingston University in 2015 and is currently a member of the Stanley Picker Gallery & Dorich House Museum Advisory Group. Commissioned for Town House, Kingston University, London, 2021
Upcoming from 2022-23:
Elizabeth Price was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize in 2012 and the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award in 2013. A recent major survey exhibition of her work A LONG MEMORY at The Whitworth Manchester, included her Stanley Picker Fellowship commission AT THE HOUSE OF MR X (2007), filmed entirely on location at The Picker House in Kingston. With a major solo presentation of her work staged by Artangel in London in Autumn 2020, Price is creating a new permanent work for Town House to be launched during 2021. She is Professor of Film and Photography at Kingston School of Art.
Ben Kelly is one of the UK’s most influential designers. He is best known for his interior design of the legendary Manchester nightclub The Haçienda, and his work for The Sex Pistols, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, Factory Records, 4AD, The Science Museum, The Design Council, the V&A and 180 The Strand. Kelly was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Design from Kingston University in 2000 and an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal College of Art in 2018. He is a Royal Designer for Industry and Professor in Interior Design at Kingston School of Art.
As part of the University’s Kingston Spotlight celebrations in September 2020, Town House, The Picker House and Dorich House Museum also participated in the Open House Festival online.