WHITE CITY | Solo show by Griffin Art Prize 2014 winner Chudamani Clowes


  • Griffin Gallery presents White City, the anticipated solo show by Griffin Art Prize 2014 winner, Chudamani Clowes
  • The exhibition is the result of her six month residency at Griffin Gallery in West London, supported by the world’s leading fine art brands, Winsor & Newton, Liquitex and Conté à Paris
  • Including ceramic, print, painting, performance and sculpture, White City explores post-colonial discourse, globalisation and issues of immigration and migration
  • Press Preview: 27 August 2015, 18:00 – 21:00
  • Exhibition runs from 28 August – 2 October 2015 at Griffin Gallery, 21 Evesham Street, London W11 4

Griffin Gallery is delighted to present the multidisciplinary solo show of Griffin Art Prize 2014 winner, Chudamani Clowes.  Entitled White City, partly in reference to the area local to Griffin Gallery, the works in the exhibition are the result of investigations into new materials and ways of working during her six-month residency at the Griffin Gallery Studio Building.

Through a wide range of media, encompassing ceramic, print, painting, performance and sculpture, White City explores Clowes’s own cultural and social history in relation to those around her. Clowes is fundamentally interested in human stories; whereby she invents her own characters to retell a historical past and explore issues of immigration, race and diaspora today. The central concern of the exhibition is how these issues have consequences for us all.

The artist will invites the viewers to interact with her, wear her works and join in performances, which will be set against a backdrop of paintings, sculptures, installations and sound. With wide ranging references, from historical spectacles to the current Mediterranean migration crisis, Clowes’s practice is energetic, eclectic and emotionally charged. During the course of her six-month residency, Clowes spent time investigating the local area, in particular White City where the Franco- British Exhibition was held in 1908.

Inspired by archived accounts of the exhibition, which recall elephant troops brought over from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), combined with ongoing research into the ethnographic archive at the British Museum, Clowes represents cultural and human displacement across a range of media. In two series, Jellyheads and Tentacle Paintings, Clowes creates an imaginary narrative where humans are represented by jellyfish, symbolising historical and contemporary Mediterranean migration.

Clowes’s use of materials, both traditional and more unusual is a strong component of her work. Her paintings on banana paper, using aromatic banana oil, depict black footballers that play for Queens Park Rangers. These works form a commentary on the racist abuse faced by players at home and in Europe. She also uses survival blankets as canvases, referencing the difficult journeys of displaced migrants arriving on the shores of Europe. 

Chudamani Clowes said: “Moved by the plight of migrants arriving at the island of Lampedusa having crossed the perilous Mediterranean Sea, my exhibition at Griffin Gallery addresses current issues around globalisation, immigration and migration.

"Informed by the local archive and entitled White City after the neighbourhood next to Griffin Gallery, this multi-disciplinary exhibition includes steel bands, costumed parades, sculpture, painting and installation to explore links between the transient population and migrant communities of White City and contemporary global issues.”

The exhibition will also be accompanied by a documentary film, produced by filmmaker Amy Walker, about White City, this exhibition and its connection to Clowes. 




Notes to Editors:

About Griffin Gallery  

Griffin Gallery is a gallery in West London supporting cutting-edge talent, hosting discussions and celebrating the best in contemporary art in London and around the world through a new award, the Griffin Art Prize.

A particular focus for the Griffin is the championing of craftsmanship across all contemporary art disciplines. Situated underneath the headquarters of world-leading fine art materials brands Winsor & Newton, Liquitex and Conté à Paris, the Gallery is home to an extensive series of events for artists and arts professionals, including expert talks discussing techniques and advice, running alongside the main exhibition programme.

The Studio Building houses not only the Griffin Gallery, but also an Innovation and Development Laboratory and two purpose-built artists’ studios. The Gallery occasionally hosts workshops in the development studio where invited artists can use cutting-edge art materials created by resident chemists. This bridges science and art with the latest art materials and colours made using the world’s best raw materials, which go on to be sold worldwide.

This independent gallery is under the Directorship of Becca Pelly-Fry.

About the Griffin Art Prize

Now in its fourth year, the Griffin Art Prize was initiated as an exciting opportunity for emerging artists in painting and drawing, supported by the world’s leading fine art brands, Winsor & Newton, Liquitex and Conté à Paris. The judges look for innovation and potential; to make the long-list is a considerable achievement, and the short-list exhibition is a showcase for collectors, critics, art world professionals and the general public.  The prize offers one outstanding candidate a six month residency in the Griffin Gallery building in west London, with the main aim of developing new work for a one-person show at Griffin Gallery.

Find out more about the 2015 Prize here.

About Chudamani Clowes

For over 20 years, Chudamani has worked as a teacher, before studying fine art at both Central St. Martins - and most recently graduating with an MA from the Royal College of Art in 2014.

The artist's working practice spans media from textile and sculpture to etchings and typography, developing an original alphabet using Victorian imagery and taking inspiration from the official language of flags, semaphore and the maritime alphabet. Recent exhibitions include Notes to Oneself and Work in Progress at the Royal College of Art.  

Opening Times:
Monday - 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday - 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday - 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday - 10:00 - 17:00
Friday - 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday – Closed
Sunday – Closed

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