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.
Alumni residency artists CAMP, who were in a residency at Gasworks during March 2008 and participated in Gasworks’ project Disclosures the month after. The project comprised of numerous events, residencies and commissions. The project culminated in a series of encounters in April 2008, providing a critical exploration of the legacies and potentials of open-source cultures both within media arts and visual arts practices.
#14 Hassan Khan
Cairo-based artist Hassan Khan’s first UK solo exhibition, ‘KOMPRESSOR’ was held at Gasworks and ran from 26 May – 2 July 2006. For his exhibition, Khan undertook an ambitious project incorporating a residency, an exhibition and a series of off-site events. ‘KOMPRESSOR’ presented a newly commissioned installation, which marked a more speculative approach by the artist to exhibition-making.
#15 Naiza Khan
Pakistani artist Naiza Khan was in residence at Gasworks from May to June 2002. She is one of the founding members of the Vasl Artists’ Collective (part of the Triangle Network). She has been selected to represent Pakistan at country’s first ever Venice Biennale 2019 pavilion, where she will present an installation based on histories of empire and maritime trade.
#16 Berni Searle
South African artist Berni Searle was in residence at Gasworks from April to July 2000. She is currently the director of the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town and her work featured on the Social Work section at Frieze London.
#17 Pedro Reyes
Mexican artist Pedro Reyes was in residence at Gasworks from August to September 2002. Reyes’ residency was organised in partnership with South London Gallery. During his time in London he realised ‘Psychoforum’ an installation work presented as part of the group show, 20 Million Mexicans Can be Wrong, which ran from 18 September – 3 November 2002 at South London Gallery.
#18 Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye had her first UK solo exhibition during Summer 2007 at Gasworks. Lynette is presenting work at Ghana’s debut pavilion at the 2019 Biennale di Venezia.
#19 Ad Minoliti
Argentinian artist Ad Minoliti was in residence at Gasworks from January to March 2017. During their residency Ad developed a new series of works mixing Victorian decorative arts and Arte Madí. Ad is showing work at the international exhibition May You Live In Interesting Times at this year's Biennale di Venezia.
#20 Ibrahim Mahama
Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama was in residence at Gasworks in 2013. Ibrahim creates site-specific installations using commonplace and readily-available materials, often connected to labour and global trade and is showing work in the Ghanaian Pavillion at this year's Biennale di Venezia.
#21 Engel Leonardo
Dominican artist Engel Leonardo was in residence at Gasworks from April to June 2016. During his residency at Gasworks, Leonardo developed the project Azúcar, tabaco y ron, an investigation into commerce in the British colonies of the Caribbean, as a trigger for the Industrial Revolution.
#22 Goshka Macuga
Polish artist Goshka Macuga presented a project titled ‘Picture Room’ at Gasworks, which ran from 7 Feb – 23 March 2003. The project involved the re-creation of the famous ‘Picture Room’ of Sir John Soane's Museum at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London inside Gasworks.
#23 The Otolith Group
From 15 February - 5 April 2009, Gasworks hosted the two-venue solo exhibition titled ‘A Long Time Between Suns’. Otolith I and Otolith II were shown at Gasworks, while Otolith III was shown at The Showroom. The Otolith Group's first films elaborated on the idea of a fiction which exiles our future selves from planet earth.
#24 Monster Chetwynd
British artist Monster Chetwynd presented ‘BORN FREE – A Melodrama’ at Gasworks, which ran from 9 Nov – 24 Dec 2004. The exhibition was centered around a performance re-enacting a key scene from the 1966 film 'Born Free' and the gallery space was transformed into a jungle, complete with a cast of animals who interacted with the audience as the piece progressed.
#25 David Nthubu Koloane
David Koloane was in residence at Gasworks from 1 Oct – 1 November 2000. David has made an outstanding contribution to the visual arts in South Africa and beyond, as an artist, writer, curator and activist, addressing political injustice and human rights in his country. A prolific artist, he was involved in establishing the first Black art gallery in Johannesburg in 1977 and was the head of Fine Arts at the Federative Union of Black Artists (FUBA). In 1991 he co-founded The Bag Factory, a longstanding partner of Gasworks and a member of the Triangle Network. Read more
#26 Ranjani Shettar
Indian artist Ranjani Shettar was in residence at Gasworks from 1 April – 1 July 2005. For her Open Studios, she created ‘Heliotropes’, a series of organic structures made of latex and thread, which reacted to the natural light and breeze in her studio. Read more
#27 Hurvin Anderson
British artist Hurvin Anderson was a Gasworks studio holder from 2007 to 2012. His paintings draw on still-life, landscape and portraiture genres to explore the way community and identity can be represented.
#28 Francesc Ruiz
Spanish artist Francesc Ruiz first solo exhibition ‘Gasworks Yaoi,’ ran from 26 Nov – 23 Jan 2011. Ruiz transformed the front of the gallery into a bookshop specialising in yaoi comic books. Read more
#29 Brook Andrew
Australian artist Brook Andrew was in residence at Gasworks from July to September 2000. Brook’s practice proposes alternative histories as a means to challenge institutional and dominant world culture. He's the current artistic director of NIRIN, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, which will take place in 2020. Read more
#30 Rosalind Nashashibi
British artist Rosalind Nashashibi was a Gasworks' studio holder from 2006 to 2010. Working in film and painting, Nashashibi’s work conveys inner experiences of moments and events, often considering the politics of relations in the community and the extended family.
#31 Tonico Lemos Auad
Brazilian artist Tonico Lemos Auad was a Gasworks’ studio artist from 2001 to 2008. Tonico’s work explores traditional craft by applying it to architecture, landscape and human interaction.He joined Gasworks as a visiting artist from Brazil, becoming a studio holder once he settled in London. Since then, he has shown internationally including at the Aspen Art Museum and Sharjah Biennal. Read more
#32 Maryam Jafri
Denmark-based Pakistan artist Maryam Jafri first London solo exhibition ‘Mouthfeel', ran from 21 Mar – 18 May 2014. The exhibition explored the politics underpinning the industrial production of food, connecting themes as diverse as “big food”, flavour enhancement technology and overconsumption. Read more
#33 Eric Baudelaire
French artist Eric Baudelaire’s first UK solo exhibition, ‘The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images’, ran from 11 May – 22 July 2012. The exhibition consisted of an installation encompassing his 2011 experimental documentary film of the same name, which centres upon the oral testimonies of two JRA protagonists: May Shigenobu, the daughter of JRA founder and leader Fusako Shigenobu, and Masao Adachi, a legendary underground film director, JRA member and theoretician. Read more
#34 Tamar Guimarães
Brazilian artist Tamar Guimarães’ first UK solo exhibition, ‘The Work of the Spirit’, ran from 28 May – 17 July 2011. For this exhibition, Guimarães presented a newly commissioned short film alongside two existing films: Canoas (2010) and A Man Called Love (2008). Guimarães' research-based practice deals with the staging of history. Read more
Follow @GasworksLondon on Instagram or search #gasworks25 to see more from our archives throughout 2019.