500 sq ft (2018)
This large-scale sculpture is based on the footprint of a typical new-build, one-bedroom apartment, referencing the changing landscape of the local area. The modular maze-like structure is inspired by the historical attractions of the nearby Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens (operational from 1732–1859) whose pavilions and walkways were transformed into notoriously transgressive spaces after dark.
Sahib also alludes to contemporary gay nightlife, particularly Vauxhall’s well-known club scene. Throughout the day and night, the installation will reflect on the current character of the local area. The location of the work in a public park within a historic and rapidly changing residential neighbourhood provides an opportunity to reflect on notions of safety, surveillance, housing and home.
Prem Sahib (b.1982, UK) makes sculptures and installations that explore formal and autobiographical themes. His work draws on the art historical language of post-minimalism, but the bodies implied in his sculptural forms are coded with references to contemporary queer culture. The relationship between public and private space is a recurring theme in Sahib’s work and he often evokes a sense of intimacy that remains hidden from plain sight.
Vauxhall Park is a Victorian park, which has been a haven of tranquility and escape for the Lambeth community for over 125 years. One of its founders was the great Suffragist Millicent Fawcett. The volunteer group Friends of Vauxhall Park continues to protect and enhance the park through community initiatives, such as gardening.
Co-commissioned by the Contemporary Art Society and Art Night 2018, with support from The Search Foundation and Hugo Brown. Further thanks to Southard Reid.
Image: Chariots Right Lion I & Chariots Left Lion I, 2017. Photo by Mark Blower
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