Dulwich Park Art Commission
In October, Southwark Council announced Conrad Shawcross as the winner of the Dulwich Art Commission for a replacement art work for the stolen Barbara Hepworth bronze statue, ‘ Two Forms - Divided Circle’. The Council announced that the appointment followed an extensive public consultation process and deliberation by the Dulwich Park Commission Steering Group and the Contemporary Art Society who managed the artist commissioning process. Ian McInnes represented the Dulwich Society in the Commissioning Group and Trevor Moore represented the Friends of Dulwich Park.
Conrad Shawcross has achieved international recognition for his work - most recently, he won acclaim for his 2013 Timepiece exhibition at the Roundhouse, London. His work was also displayed at this year's 55th Venice Biennale. His design, Three Perpetual Chords, has been selected from a shortlist also including proposals by artists Anya Galaccio, Ryan Gander and Eva Rothschild.
Following a public consultation in which over 400 local people gave their views about the proposals, the Dulwich Park Commission Steering Group came to a consensus to name Shawcross as the artist who best fulfils the commissioning principles originally set out.
Three Perpetual Chords proposes a series of cast iron sculptures, each created in relation to the mathematical patterns found in music. The artist describes these forms as "visual descriptions of musical chords." Roughly human height, the sculptures will be sequenced, leading visitors through an unexpected series of encounters in the park.
Conrad Shawcross was born in London in 1977. Imbued with an appearance of scientific rationality, Conrad Shawcross's sculptures explore subjects that lie on the borders of geometry and philosophy, physics and metaphysics. Attracted by failed quests for knowledge in the past, he often appropriates redundant theories and methodologies to create ambitious structural and mechanical montages, using a wide variety of materials and media, and working on an epic scale. Different technologies - nautical and audio-visual - and different natural forces inspire his forms, but his mysterious machines and structures remain enigmatic, filled with paradox and wonder. Some have an absurdist melancholy feel, while others tend to the sublime.
Shawcross has had solo presentations at 590 Madison Avenue, Pace Gallery, New York, (2010), Cabinet, Brooklyn (2009); Location One, New York, New York, (2009) JenaerKunstverein, Germany (2008), The New Art Gallery, Walsall and The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2005). His work has also been exhibited internationally at institutions including Musée d'art Contemporain, Lyon (2008), La Chapelle de L'Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris (2008), The Saatchi Gallery (2004) and Manifesta 5, San Sebastian, Spain (2004). Shawcross's first public realm commission, Space Trumpet installed in the atrium of the refurbished Unilever Building, London in 2007 won the Art & Work 2008 Award for a Work of Art Commissioned for a Specific Site in a Working Environment, and in 2009 he was awarded the Illy prize for best solo presentation at Art Brussels.
Canon Dianna Gwilliams installed as Dean of Guildford
The Very Reverend Dianna Gwilliams, for the past eleven years vicar of St Barnabas Church, Dulwich was installed as Dean of Guildford at Guildford Cathedral on 15th September. Three coach loads of well-wishers from the St Barnabas and Christ’s Chapel congregations were there to lend support. The support appears to be needed; among her many tasks at her new appointment, the most pressing is the repair of the eastern end of the Cathedral which is in a serious structural condition and it will be Dianna’s role to see the necessary repairs are carried out.
She got off to a rapid start in her new post as the day after her induction, The Church Times reported that she had announced a seven-year strategy for fundraising and investment for the Cathedral to deal with the building’s fabric which costs £1.17million a year to operate, and currently runs at a deficit of around £100,000 a year. The Very Revd Dianna Gwilliams, said that a "fundamental part" of the plan was to ensure a sustainable financial future for the cathedral. To achieve this, Guildford Cathedral plans to release an area of land for the development of social and private housing, including a new Cathedral Close to accommodate staff and clergy which will replace the existing sub-standard houses. The scheme will also involve the creation of significantly enhanced public open space on Stag Hill and greater connectivity with the town centre
St Barnabas Church Choir’s German Tour
Following several previous tours to Italy, the St Barnabas Choir this summer headed for Germany. Under the direction of William McVicker and Riccardo Bonci, the choir of almost 60 was accompanied by an eleven strong road-crew who kept the mixed age choir’s robes in immaculate condition, looked after the luggage and chaperoned the younger members. The choir sang at Johann Sebastian Bach’s grave in Thomaskirche, Leipzig, and also sang for the evening service. They gave concerts at the Kathedrale Ss Trinitatis, Dresden; Georgenkirche, Eisenach, and the Kloster Frenswegen, Nordhorn.
Concert for Dementia sufferers
Dulwich Picture Gallery are inviting members of the public to a unique concert this December- a music performance by Dementia sufferers and their carers, led by a composer and lyricist from English Touring Opera. The concert at the Gallery will be the culmination of ‘Visual to Vocal’ a project which sees 20 people with Dementia composing a song cycle over eight weeks, inspired by the world-famous masterpieces at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
For the second year running, participants with early stages of Dementia will work with music students from Dulwich College and the Royal College of Music to write lyrics and music, each week based on a different painting in the Gallery. Working with a composer and lyricist from English Touring Opera, they will choose the themes and content of the songs, and a name for their song cycle as the project progresses. The group will perform their songs live in the Gallery on Thursday 12th December.
The project is part of Art for Older People at Dulwich Picture Gallery which addresses the needs of older people, combating loneliness, isolation and inertia through involvement in the arts. It offers an enriching menu of art activities at the Gallery and also reaches out to people in care homes, hospitals and community centres.
The programme is uniquely, free of charge to participants and is at no cost to the tax payer.
Good Times is a core Education programme and is now in its seventh year at Dulwich Picture Gallery.