Thursday, 14 July 2011

Stephen Lawrence Gallery

Curator- David Webb
The Stephen Lawrence Gallery was opened in the year 2000 to promote diversity in art at the University of Greenwich.  It is can be found at the Old Royal Naval College.  The gallery is named after a young black boy that was murdered in 1993.  Stephen’s murderers were never brought to trial which caused a public uproar.  In a report filed in 1999, investigators concluded that Stephen’s attack was racially motivated and that the police force did not fully investigate the case because of racial issues.  At the time of Stephen’s death, his mother was a student at the University of Greenwich.  In 2000 when the university decided to honour Stephen, his mother wanted his creativity to live on in an art gallery open to all.  So, in 2000, the Stephen Lawrence Gallery was opened to celebrate visual culture. 
The current exhibition at the Lawrence Gallery celebrates local history that has national importance.  In the late 1960s and 70s, groups of artists started buying and renting abandoned industrial buildings in Greenwich.  Uncaught Hares, in a series of works from artists that worked in Jeff Lowe’s studio in Greenwich from 1974 to 1994.  The current exhibit is artwork these artist have done post 1994.  This is the second exhibition from this group of artists.  The first was made up of pieces the artists completed during their time at the studio.  Along with the actual art pieces, various archival materials were shown. 
Webb informed us that many of the exhibitions they show in this gallery are shown with archival materials.  The exhibition we saw was done mainly by abstract artists.  I found some of the pieces to be interesting and even pretty, but others were just odd.  I also liked that there were pictures of the artists from the 70s when they were all working together and current pictures taken when the exhibition opened.    

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