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 new 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 Architecture, Virtual 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 is currently commissioned as Artist in Residence by the London Diocese to create a 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 scheduled to be unveiled for September 2017.
GRAEME MORTIMER EVELYN LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON
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
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
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
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
FEB 2003 Founding member and chairperson of Jamaica Street Artists Bristol, the largest artist led studios in South West, UK.
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.
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.
JUNE 2011 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 Curator and panelist of Contemporary Jamaican Film for the Afrika Eye 2012 International Film Festival at the Watershed Media Centre Bristol.
FEB 2015 Artist-in-Residence for Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance CoLab Festival 2015 – directing an improvisational fusion of visual art with the conservatoires contemporary dance and jazz music students
SEPT 2015 One of the Panel Selectors for the RWA 163 Annual Open Exhibition
JUNE 2016 Co Curator Jamaican Pulse – Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora for The Royal West of England Academy
SEPT 2016 International Curators Forum / Asia Culture Centre symposium Curating the International Diaspora 2016 Gwangju Biennale, South Korea.
NOV 2016 Artist-in-Residence commissioned by the London Diocese to create a permanent large scale contemporary Reredos (altarpiece) The Eternal Engine situated Tottenham Hale London, St Francis at the Engine Room
1995 – 1996 Woodblock, printmaking, natural dye and ink Rajasthan / Ahmedabad, India and Kathmandu, Nepal
1992 – 1995 Graphic Fine Art and Printmaking BA (Hons), Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
1991 – 1992 Art Access Foundation, Barnfield College, Luton
1988 – 1990 Business Marketing HND, Thames University, London