This year Gasworks celebrates 25 years of supporting artists. Over the last two and a half decades the organisation has worked with over 500 artists from 80 countries around the world through residencies, exhibitions, public events and studio provision.
To mark the occasion, each week we will look through our archives and highlight a different artist or project, exploring our long-standing relationships with artists from Tania Bruguera, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, to Evan Ifekoya and more.
#1 Tania Bruguera
In 1995, we hosted the residency of Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera which culminated in the exhibition Soñando with fellow Cuban artist Fernando Rodriguez.
For the exhibition, Bruguera constructed a series of drawings and flying objects titled De lo possible (About the possible). The flying machines were made from materials sourced from the streets of Vauxhall and Whitechapel. Read more
#2 Yinka Shonibare
In 1995, Gasworks hosted the group exhibition Original, curated by Sonia Boyce who had a studio in our building for several years and also served as Trustee. The show featured new work by Marq Kearey, Viginia Nimarkoh, Johannes Phokela and Yinka Shonibare.
Aiming to challenge assumptions about authenticity and 'ethnicity', Shonibare had recently started to create pieces with ‘African’ fabric (Dutch wax-printed cotton) sourced from nearby Brixton market. The installation at Gasworks is an early example of Shonibare's use of what has become a key material in his work. Read more
#3 Gasworks Founding Artists
To mark the opening of Gasworks, many of the founding artists participated in the group show Dad, which ran from 11 Nov – 11 Dec 1994.
The artists included: Frances Richardson, Rebecca Fortnum, Helen Ireland, Laura Hamilton, Eve Muske Mobray Donker, Johannes Phokela, Godfried Donkor, Beth Harland, Jim Mooney, Emma Tod, Sonia Boyce, Hew Locke, Joy Gregory, Jenka Vronskia and Sean Cummins. Read more
#4 Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa
In 2015, Gasworks hosted a solo exhibition God's Reptilian Finger by Guatemalan artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa. The exhibition comprised of two newly commissioned sculptural installations which focused on the amateur archaeology practiced by Mormon missionaries in Guatemala since 1947 and current followers of contemporary British conspiracy theorist David Icke. Read more
#5 Song Dong
Alumni artist Song Dong was in residence at Gasworks from April to July 2000. For his Open Studios, Dong produced a series of edible ‘Pen Jing’, an ancient Chinese art form depicting miniature landscapes. He prepared his Pen Jing with traditional British ingredients - including mashed potato, salmon, carrot, mincemeat and broccoli - in an attempt to find a point of contact between Chinese and British cultures. Read more
#6 Monira Al Qadiri
Monira Al Qadiri's first UK solo show The Craft ran from 13 Jul – 10 Sept 2017. The exhibition comprised of sculptures, videos and sound works that envisaged international diplomacy as an alien conspiracy. Shown in two distinct environments – a mysterious, pitch black anteroom and an American diner – these semi-autobiographical works of science fiction unearthed the unlikely stories lurking in the shadows of the artist’s childhood in Kuwait. Read more
#7 Harold Offeh
Harold Offeh's first UK solo show was held at Gasworks from 8 Feb – 10 March 2002. The exhibition comprised of video and animation, which explored matters of desire, identity, and the stereotyping of race within the framework of everyday life and popular culture. The work questioned and challenged how typecast identities are spread through popular mediums like film and television. Read more
#8 Hew Locke
One of Hew Locke's first solo exhibitions was held at Gasworks from 31 Oct – 23 Nov 1997. Locke was also part of the first group of Gasworks’ London based studio artists.The drawings in the exhibition reworked images from Hogarth, Velasquez and Victorian prints to enable the creation of a cast of characters part human and part animal. These figures draw upon Locke's early memories of colonial education in Guyana, with particular reference to Nelson's West Indian Readers, which were widely used as textbooks and ensured that generations of Caribbean children knew more about British history than their own.
#9 Jane Alexander
South African artist Jane Alexander’s solo exhibition at Gasworks, curated by OVA, took place from 25 Feb – 26 Mar 2000. This was the first UK presentation of 'Street Cadets with Harbinger: Wish, Walk/Loop Long', one of her most iconic sculptures. Alexander's work typically employs a wide range of approaches including installation, photo-based work and sculpture. Many of her recent works refer to the aftermath of apartheid and similar situations across the world, looking specifically at the relationship with migration, political and cultural conflicts and resistance.
#10 Renata Lucas
Renata Lucas was invited by Gasworks in 2008 to respond to the building and its relationship to the local setting. Using her residency period as a basis for research and development, the resulting project created a double continuity: one between Gasworks and the neighbouring boundary wall in Vauxhall Street; the other creating a crossover between inside and outside space.
#11 Lee Wen
Lee Wen participated in a residency at Gasworks from April to June 1998, which culminated in the performance ‘Connection/Location’ at The October Gallery. Wen’s work set out to cross boundaries, bringing Eastern philosophy and traditions up against the processes and ideas of Western avant-garde creative practice. In ‘Connection/Location’ Wen directly engaged with issues of artistic and political censorship in contemporary Singapore. Using the improvisational flexibility of performance, Wen tailored his address to the local context of the UK whose colonial legacy is still evident in Singapore.
#12 Alexandre Da Cunha
Alumni residency artist and former Gasworks trustee (2012-2017) Alexandre da Cunha participated in a residency at Gasworks from April to July 2002. Grounded in a material aesthetic and ethic, Alexandre da Cunha makes sculpture using transformed every day or found objects. For his Open Studios, Da Cunha opened his investigation of functional objects to the domestic environment, making a series of sculptures and photographs from domestic and found materials.
Follow @GasworksLondon on Instagram or search #gasworks25 to see more from our archives throughout 2019.