Historic London building Fulham Town Hall will open its doors on the 20th May after lockdown for the first time in a decade as it plays host to ‘Art in the Age of Now’, a group exhibition that brings together contemporary art, live music, talks and performance art.
Fulham Town Hall has stood empty and unused for over ten years and the incredible interiors feature many of the original fittings. This huge sprawling space (51,000 Sq ft) has been taken over by some of London’s most exciting established and upcoming contemporary artists. Many of the works have been produced in isolation during lockdown and will be exhibited for the first time.
Many of the landmark building’s beautiful original fittings are preserved and will remain so in its future life as a hotel and entertainment space. The elegant architecture and decorative features include green marble columns, stained-glass roof lights, wrought iron balustrades, and art deco lighting. Visible deterioration adds to the character and its beauty seeps through cracks of decay and peeling wallpaper.
Built in 1890, it features a beautiful grand ballroom, a courtroom in the round with original stained-glass windows and tiered seating, civil registration and function rooms and each area will be taken over by some of London’s most exciting established and upcoming contemporary artists. The cells in the building’s basement vault beneath the court room, complete with the original bars from their time as holding chambers, will be transformed into mini art spaces for emerging talent.
The exhibition is divided across the main rooms, project spaces, individual artist rooms, the basement vaults and the town hall courtroom. Many of the works have been produced in isolation during lockdown and will be exhibited for the first time. This will be a platform to support the capital’s cultural community after a series of challenging lockdowns and a celebration of local artists and scenes. GAZ MAYALL has recreated Gaz’s Rock n Blues, complete with dance floor, in one of the main rooms beside the courtroom where he is exhibiting imagery and memorabilia from the last 30 years of running Gaz’s Rock n Blues at Notting Hill
Carnival. With ska and reggae music playing periodically during the exhibition and artwork by artists including Elinor Fahrman and Natty Bo, Joe Rush, Gaz and Jason Mayall.
Joe rush, whose sculptures have helped shape Glastonbury down the years is transforming the ballroom, complete with stage and sculptures recycled from salvaged material including F15 bombers and Soviet tanks.
Participating artists have come together to produce Los Hengeles. Situated in The Grand Hall and positioned as the exhibition’s communal hub, Ben Moore’s ’Los Hengeles’ is a scaled down astronomically-aligned replica of Stonehenge, one of the UK’s most recognisable heritage sites and brings together a wealth of collaborative creative skillsets incorporating sculpture, lighting, sound and grass. The ambitious new sculptural installation is part made from plaster of Paris which is the same plaster used in the construction of the Fulham Town Hall and follows on from other Stonehenge inspired artworks by Moore including ‘Phone Henge’ (2019, made of iPhones).
Charlotte Colbert’s Mastectomy Mameria is a mass of breasts that on closer inspection reveals some nipples are missing, sewn up as after a mastectomy. Since the birth of her children, and own personal experience of hospital maternity units, Charlotte’s creative output has reflected her sense of life postpartum.
A moving exhibition of portraits of missing persons by contemporary artists will also be presented at the town hall Titled unmissable and produced in partnership with the Missing People charity, it features beautiful original works by artists including charming baker, nina fowler and mark metcalfe. It is curated by Ben Moore and features a portrait of his brother Tom who has been missing since 2003.
The exhibition opens on the 20th of May until 6th of June at Fulham Town Hall. More info and booking here.