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Meditations - The Eternal Engine - @StFEngineRoom Copyright © 2017 Graeme Mortimer EvelynThe Eternal Engine  (2017) The UK’s largest contemporary altarpiece (Reredos) Commissioned by London Diocese for St Francis at the Engine Room

GRAEME MORTIMER EVELYN

Graeme Mortimer Evelyn is a multi media visual artist, musician and curator – whose varied body of work comments on cultural social identity, politics and language. He describes these narratives forming - “when fragments of relation, memory, society, identity and modernity, which seem disparate at first, come together to form a whole”.  His works have been displayed and collected in Princeton University Center for African American Studies NJ, Cornell University NY, Kensington Palace, The Royal Commonwealth Society, Museum in Docklands, Gloucester Cathedral, Watershed and M-Shed Bristol.

Evelyn has developed a reputation for creating work that is situated in municipal buildings, sites of memory and places of worship that subvert these settings and philosophies. His intention is that his art acts as a catalyst – attracting new audiences to seek alternative dialogues and challenging questions, enabling a democratisation of public spaces. His subversion of the institutional does not stop there, as his works often reflect that ‘institution” denotes systems, memorial, edifice, myth, belief and popular opinion.

Many of the commissioned project work engages with contested histories and heritage, which has often required detailed archival research and an acute sensitivity to collective social issues and ideas. This process is challenging and thought provoking for both artist and audience, causing to question the essence of what brings people into a conversation with a work of contemporary art.

His use of detailed in-depth subject research creates the framework and give context to his experimental use of varied and diverse mediums, such as the 55min video essay The Two Coins: Meditations on Trade  (2007). This poignant, factual and objective work was filmed staging imagined historical reenactments within UNESCO heritage sites and locations in Ghana, Mali, Malawi and the UK, documenting the dormant history of the Trans – Atlantic Slave Trade as silent meditation.

In 2009, Evelyn was commissioned by the Museum of Bristol to subvert historical record. The result of extensive research and an old Chinese gambling table – the museum acquired the large painted relief sculpture, Reading the Riot (Act), a permanent work on display for their contemporary art collection. It is an uncompromising and challenging statement on the long history of British public dissent. Unveiled in 2011; the year of unprecedented rioting in London and other European capitals and the “Arab Spring”, Reading the Riot (Act) became strangely prophetic.

In 2011, Evelyn was Artist-in-Residence at St. Stephen’s Church Bristol, commissioned to create a large scale permanent contemporary altarpiece, the Reconciliation Reredos.  Set within one of the oldest churches in Bristol, historically significant as the harbour church that blessed every merchant slave vessel before their voyage; the Reconciliation Reredos is a contemporary artwork of universal reconciliation, that responds to the church’s past, reflects the voices of the city today while representing the potential of the future. The work has established Evelyn as the first ever Black British Artist to complete such a commission in Europe.

He also presented the exclusive solo exhibition Out of Many, One at the Jamaica High Commission during the London2012 Olympics and Jamaica 50 and was guest curator of contemporary Jamaican film for Afrika Eye 2012 International Film Festival. In 2013/14, Evelyn created the critically acclaimed site-specific installation Call and Responses – The Odyssey of the Moor  - a contemporary response to John Van Nost’s Bust of a Moor (1688) commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces and The Royal Collection Trust – exhibited within the Queens State apartments at Kensington Palace.

In Feb 2015 Evelyn was CoLab Festival Artist in Residence at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music & Dance directing an improvisational fusion of automatic drawing with the conservatoires contemporary dance and jazz / classical music students. Recently, Evelyn co – curated the major landmark UK exhibition Jamaican Pulse – Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora - commissioned by The Royal West of England Academy for June 25 – Sept 11 2016, in partnership with the Jamaican High Commission, National Gallery of Jamaica and The Bluecoat Liverpool supported by Arts Council England.

Evelyn has contributed to discussions on the role of public art for Museum in Docklands London Festival of ArchitectureVirtual Migrants series at the Arnolfini, the Caribbean Curatorship and National Identity conference in Bridgetown, Barbados and for the International Curators Forum / Asia Culture Centre symposium Curating the International Diaspora for the 2016 Gwangju Biennale, South Korea.

Apart from continuing to develop a new body of work entitled, Inward Gaze, Outward Focus, exploring automatic experimental drawing, audio/visual technology and relief sculpture informed by his synaesthesia reaction to sound, music and the solo improvisations of prominent Jazz musicians – Evelyn has recently completed a major commission as Artist in Residence for London Diocese, to create the Britain’s largest permanent contemporary altarpiece (Reredos) entitled The Eternal Engine for the first church built in the capital for over 40 years – St Francis at the Engine Room situated in Hale Village Tottenham, unveiled in November 2017.

GRAEME MORTIMER EVELYN LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON  

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

SEPT 2013    Call and Responses – The Odyssey of the Moor Queens State Apartments Kensington Palace, London

JULY 2012     Out of Many, One PART II - Jamaican High Commission, London

APR 2012      Out of Many, One PART I - The Royal Commonwealth Society, London

AUG 2010     The Weird and Wonderful Lost and Found PART II Tapped and Packed, London

APR 09/10    The Stations of the Cross Saint Stephen’s Church, Bristol

OCT 2008     The Weird and Wonderful Lost and Found PART I Severnshed Restaurant, Bristol

MAR 2008     The Narratives of the Journey The George Gallery, Newnham on Severn

NOV 2007     The Two Coins: Meditations on Trade - Moving Image Watershed Media Centre, Bristol

FEB 06/07    The Stations of the Cross Gloucester Cathedral

JUNE 2003   Phone Booth Carnival Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

OCT 1998     Consistency of Oil Skate n Ride, Bristol

AUG 1998     BurnTheMall Skate n Ride, Bristol

JAN 1998      I Work in this Building The Greenhouse Restaurant, Bristol

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

JUNE 2016   Jamaican Pulse  The Royal West of England Academy Bristol

SEPT 2014    Navigations 3FF Red Gallery London

NOV 2012     State of the Art Lyes and Jones Arch 402 London

SEPT 2008   Voices Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

OCT 2003     Retox International Contemporary Art Festival Bristol

FEB 2000     Winter Exhibits The Hanging Space Gallery, London

APR 1999     Spring Exhibits The Hanging Space Gallery London

OCT 1996     The Clockhouse Open Laxfield, Suffolk

AWARDS

APR 2013     Arts Council England GFTA award Call and Responses

FEB 2010     Arts Council England GFTA award The Next Level

JUN 2009    Heritage Lottery Fund award Reconciliation Reredos

DEC 2007    The Pierian Centre Funding for The Two Coins

MAR 2007   Society of Merchant Venturers Funding The Two Coins

FEB 2007    Arts Council England GFTA award Bristol City Council Abolition200 award The Two Coins

SEPT 2005  Arts Council England GFTA award Stations of the Cross

COMMISSIONS

NOV 2016    The Eternal Engine  Saint Francis at the Engine Room London

JAN 2015     Jamaican Pulse  The Royal West of England Academy Bristol

APR 2013     Call and Responses Kensington Palace / HRP London

AUG 2012    Nanny Maroon Private collector London

MAY 2012    Ruby Fountain Wetherspoons Yate

JAN 2011     Reconciliation Reredos Saint Stephen’s Church Bristol

SEPT 2009  Reading the Riot (Act) M-Shed New Museum of Bristol

MAR 2005   Mariona Dr Claudi and Dr Mariona Ferrer, Majorca Spain

SEPT 1999  Manmovement (mural) Whitefriars Building, Bristol

JUNE 1998  Unity (mural) Glastonbury Festival, Jazz World Stage

HISTORY

SEPT 1992 – JUNE 1995

Graduate Graphic Fine Art and Printmaking Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge UK

OCT 1995 – JAN 1996

Research and study of Indian woodblock, printmaking, natural dye and ink production Rajasthan, Gujarat and Kathmandu, Nepal

JAN 1998 – JAN 2003

Band member of groundbreaking and influential post-punk-electro-hip-pop-experimental group, OIL EXPERTS. The group  was instrumental in the emergence of a new Bristol underground avant garde sound during a very vibrant artistic and musical period. This new wave cultural movement was spearheaded by arriving artists/musicians relocated to Bristol in the wake of Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead as an acknowledgment of, as well as a reaction against, the mainstream identification of the “Bristol Sound”.

JAN 1998 – JAN 2003

Lived with well-known Bristol/ UK street graffiti artists Paris and Xenz and hung out with Banksy during his early development in Bristol. Created large-scale guerilla graffiti punk poster street installations advertising OIL EXPERTS gigs.

FEB 2003    First Chairperson and founding member of Jamaica Street Artists Bristol, the largest artist led studios in South West, UK.

JULY 2005 

Commissioned by the Dean of Gloucester Cathedral to create the Stations of the Cross for the Cathedral Cloisters for Lent 2006.

Requested for re exhibition Lent 2007.

AUG 2005 – JUNE 2007 

Creator and Bandleader for Orquesta Montpelier – Bristol based 12 piece Big Band Salsa Dura Orchestra

JULY 2007

Embarked on detailed in-depth subject research that surround monuments erected in memory of prominent 18th Century British slave traders for framework and context to examine their dormant history and legacies as silent meditation. Written, produced and directed the 55min silent video, The Two Coins: Meditations on Trade as a response using locations in Ghana, Mali, Malawi and UK, back dropped by UNESCO World Heritage sites, Festivals and Museums, juxtaposed by historical fact without myth or prejudice, from historians such as Hugh Thomas, Marcus Rediker and Madge Dresser.

JULY 2008  

Panelist A Role for Public Art for London Festival of Architecture Museum in Docklands London on the theme of Public Art and Social Debate.

SEPT 2009  

Commissioned by M-Shed (Museum of Bristol) for their permanent collection of contemporary art as a response to subversion of historical record Reading the Riot (Act), is on permanent display. It is an uncompromising and challenging statement on the long history of British public dissent. Unveiled in 2011 during a year rioting in London, Europe and the Middle East.

OCT 2009 

Discussion, Video and Live Performance with Virtual Migrants at the Arnolfini, Bristol C Words: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture - an exhibition by artist-activist group PLATFORM and their collaborators.

DEC 2009  

Panelist Networks that Work for You for the Caribbean Curatorship and National Identity conference in Bridgetown, Barbados.

DEC 2010 – JAN 2011  

Artist-in-Residence at St. Stephen’s Church Bristol, commissioned to install the large scale permanent contemporary altarpiece, entitled the Reconciliation Reredos for one of the oldest churches in the medieval quarter of Bristol UK. St Stephen’s has global historical significance as the harbour church that blessed every merchant slave vessel before embarking on their voyages during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The Reconciliation Reredos is the first contemporary altarpiece to be installed permanently within a sacred medieval space in Europe by a British Caribbean artist.

JUNE 2011

Co - Curator Site Festival Open exhibition The Museum in the Park  Stroud

JULY 2011

Granted exclusive access to The Royal Library at Windsor Castle catalogues of Leonardo da Vinci’s preparatory Drawings of The Last Supper and his studies of Anatomy, Divinity and the Grotesque.

NOV 2012

Guest Curator, Contemporary Jamaican Film for the Afrika Eye 2012 International Film Festival at the Watershed Media Centre Bristol.

JUNE 2013/2014

Clown/Musician/Performer for Incandescence International Circus Alice in Wonderland Eid Celebration production in Kuwait City and Istanbul

AUG 2013 – JAN 2014 

Commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces and The Royal Collection Trust to create a contemporary site-specific installation as response to the earliest recorded object within Kensington Palace – John Van Nost’s Bust of a Moor (1688). The critically acclaimed Call and Responses – The Odyssey of the Moor   was exhibited within the Queens State apartments at Kensington Palace. The Odyssey of the Moor is believed to be the first time the Royal Collection has allowed one of its top 100 objects within its vast inventory to be used within a contemporary art installation.

APRIL 2014/2015/2016

Member of the Human Revolution Orchestra (HRO) – Modern Jazz Big Band formed with some of the top UK Jazz musicians for International Jazz Day with Guest US Jazz Pioneers Saxophonist Bennie Maupin (Miles Davis) and Trombinist Robin Eubanks (Art Blakey, Sun Ra). Official Poster designer for HRO International Jazz Day events.

FEB 2015 

Artist-in-Residence for Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music & Dance CoLab Festival 2015 directing an improvisational fusion of visual at with the conservatoires contemporary dance and jazz / classical music students.

SEPT 2015

One of the Panel Selectors for the RWA 163 Annual Open Exhibition with RWA President Janette Kerr PRWA, RWA Vice President Stephen Jacobson, Stewart Geddes RWA, Ian Middleton RWA, Vera Boele-Keimer, Nicola Bealing RWA, Howard Phipps RWA and Chris Stephens, Head of Displays at Tate Britain

JUNE 2016

Co Curator Jamaican Pulse – Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora for The Royal West of England Academy – a major international group-show exhibition of Jamaican and Jamaican-Diaspora artists of international acclaim, delivered in partnership with the Jamaican High Commission, National Gallery of Jamaica and The Bluecoat Liverpool supported by Arts Council England National Funding and the Art Fund.

SEPT 2016

Relational Ethics and Aesthetics panel discussion for the International Curator Forum / Asia Culture Centre symposium, Curating the International Diaspora for the 2016 Gwangju Biennale, South Korea. Presented current artist practice and addressed how Diaspora artists can radically re-imagine history and meaning of the image and the relationship to a ‘local’ or ‘tourist’ audience.

NOV 2016/2017

Commissioned as Artist in Residence by the London Diocese to create the permanent large scale contemporary Reredos (altarpiece) The Eternal Engine for their first new church built in the capital for over 40 years situated Tottenham Hale, St Francis at the Engine Room unveiled November 2017The Eternal Engine is believed to be the largest contemporary altarpiece in the United Kingdom and Europe.

 

 


GME FEB 2016 SQ CROP MID 6