Paradise Shack by Dylan Shipton

16 Nov 2007 – 16 Dec 2007

Event times

Opening times: Saturdays and Sundays, 12.00 ' 5.30, or by appointment

Cost of entry


St John on Bethnal Green

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Buses: 106, 388, D3, D6, 8, 309, 254
  • Tube: Bethnal Green - Central line
  • Train: Bethnal Green or Cambridge Heath

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Paradise Shack by Dylan Shipton


Dylan Shipton uses materials that you would usually associate with areas of a building hidden from view, or the materials used in the process of building that are removed after the work is completed. Within this language of temporariness and impermanence, he maintains an aspect of the working process that is often lost by the time of completion.

Paradise Shack sits within the classical symmetry of the belfry, and inhabits a space that is neither corridor nor room. The ramshackle structure has been built in direct response to this architecture and the limitations and restrictions inherent in a Grade 1 listed building. The empty space of the belfry serves as a catalyst for a new form to develop; an inner realm that both resembles but revolts within its narrow limitations.

Shipton has often used adhesive 'hazard' tape in his working process. This naturally linear material allowing him to build up a picture plane of line and hatching, covering areas within the typical white-walled gallery, and incorporating architectural features found in this space. The work has a sketch-like quality that implies that there are still choices to be made, and hovers on the brink of becoming another state altogether.

His installation at the belfry, in an old and worn John Soane designed church, uses the rudimentary materials of low-grade building work, plasterboard and crude timber, which speak of makeshift housing and the type of impermanent living arrangements that itinerant and outsider communities can be found inhabiting through necessity. Inherent in these temporary arrangements, however, can be found a sanctuary of sorts, for un-realised dreams and lost utopias.

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