To coincide with Heritage Open Days 2015, Sarah Hughes has developed a series of works relating to the early history of the South London Gallery (SLG) and its proposed impact on the local community. Working from historical material found in Southwark Local History Library and Archive, Hughes presents an installation in the entrance of the Gallery featuring a selection of prints and other small-scale works inspired by early features of the gallery building.
Looking specifically at documents that refer to the SLG’s opening at its current location on Peckham Road in 1891, Hughes draws on the socio-political aspirations of the Gallery founders and considers how its founding principles can be understood today.
Featured in a vitrine in the entrance corridor, the referenced archival material includes reports of public meetings and fundraising events, as well as transcribed lectures by leading proponent of the SLG; William Rossiter. Hughes works directly from these documents to present a series of prints, taking existing phrases from a number of different sources in order to re-appropriate them as slogans that resonate with more contemporary concerns, not only in the field of art but also in the context of political and economic pressures.
For the installation at the SLG these slogans will be presented through print and hand-marquetry, and will be presented together with ceramic and stone work inspired by early features of the building.
Sarah Hughes is the Sound and Music Embedded composer-in-residence at South London Gallery for 2015-16.