AboutThrough the Peckham Glass
Paul Gallagher, Rachael House, Matthew McGuinness, John Ryan & Adam Walker
Peckham Space, 89 Peckham High Street, Camberwell College of Art, London SE15 5RS
10 December 2011 6 January 2012, Launch event 10 December, 2pm
Peckham Space presents Through the Peckham Glass, a dispersed exhibition of specially commissioned artworks displayed in and inspired by their unique locations: the shop windows of Peckham. Five artists have each developed a new work which interacts with and reflects the context of its unusual display space.
Viewing the exhibition requires the viewer to literally look through the glass windows of Peckham businesses. However the artists have also interpreted the exhibition title and its referencing of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass more metaphorically, drawing on the book's themes of mirrors, reflections and reversals of time and space, and have interweaved these ideas with contemporary Peckham.
Paul Gallagher's collages question the mainstream media's portrayal of beauty. He is working in the display space of Café Como, a pairing which may at first seem incongruous, but Gallagher's subversion of aspiration will be heightened by the everyday nature of this location.
Johnny Trunley the Fat Boy of Peckham was a local star in the first decades of the twentieth century. Recalling the memory of music halls where Trunley regularly appeared, Rachael House will produce work at The Bun House pub which will hold a mirror up to contemporary society asking why we should all be expected to conform, physically or otherwise?
The kitchen and the shared experience of cooking and eating is the starting point for Matthew McGuinness's practice. He will take over the windows of Persepolis Iranian delicatessen to create an installation inspired by the sharing of recipes and diverse culinary cultures of Peckham.
John Ryan's installation in the expansive windows of the Peckham Pulse Café will give the viewer a simultaneous view of Peckham life inside and outside. His partially mirrored screens will serve to unite rather than divide the interior and exterior, becoming as much something to look through as at.
Adam Walker, who also curates the exhibition, draws inspiration from the former Grand Surrey Canal which terminated in Peckham, and it's long association with the Whitten Timber family business. His sculpture will function as a memorial while juxtaposing the steady forward flow of water with the inevitable onward progression of time.
A dedicated website, www.peckhamglass.co.uk, will accompany the exhibition.