We’re proud to announce that award winning artist, Ryan Gander OBE, has been appointed to deliver a landmark public piece of Elephant and Castle art, conceived and developed with the local community.
As an artist who has been practising for over two decades, Ryan Gander has developed a wealth of experience operating with multiple internationally recognised institutions such as Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Documenta (13) (Kassel), and the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. His works are featured in both international public and private collections including the Tate Collection and Arts Council Collection in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée D'Art Contemporain De Montréal, and the National Museum of Art in Japan. Gander has delivered a diverse set of public artworks and commissions since 2010, for the likes of Public Art Fund (New York), Futurecity (London) and Artangel (London).
He has an established international reputation for artworks that materialise in many different forms, ranging from sculpture, apparel and writing to architecture, painting, publications and performance. His public commissions are diverse in material, placement and outlook and always cite the space as the initial seedling for the idea and overall concept.
He is working with South London Gallery on a series of workshops for local school children that will bring together their playfulness and imagination to co-create the design for the final artwork. This final work may take the form of a distributed trail around the park’s two acres for existing and future communities (a precedent which was set by Wild in Art and their Elmer trail London), and visitors to the area, to discover and enjoy.
Ryan was invited to the role following a curatorial process led by the Contemporary Art Society, for whom Senior Art Producer Megan O’shea says, “We’re really delighted to be working with Ryan on this commission. His experience in the public realm and enthusiasm for working with young people open up exciting possibilities for future art in Elephant Park.”
“Elephant & Castle has always been a really special part of London, through all its historic iterations,” says Ryan.
“When we think about place we often think about 'as it is' or 'as it was', but seldom do we envisage para-possible futures, what a place 'could be’. This form of ‘Imagineering' takes great cognitive ingenuity and inventiveness, and so it seemed really apparent and fitting to me that working with those with the most active imaginations and those who know the place the best - namely the young people who live in the area - would be the most catalytic approach.”
Kristy Lansdown, our Project Director here at Elephant Park, adds: “When designing Elephant Park, we have always been hyper aware of the value that public spaces bring to a local community, and have strived to create an environment around our buildings that is inclusive, relaxing and inspirational. It is exciting that the next generation of Southwark’s community has the opportunity to help shape this landscape by working alongside Ryan.”
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