Exercising Freedom: Encounters with Art, Artists and Communities

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Open: temporary closure

77-82 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7QX, London, UK
Open: temporary closure


Exercising Freedom: Encounters with Art, Artists and Communities


Exercising Freedom: Encounters with Art, Artists and Communities
to Sun 21 Mar 2021
temporary closure

By the mid-1970s the cultural mosaic of East London changed significantly as local artists found themselves living and working alongside local communities, who provided an invigorating environment rich in ideas, possibilities and resources. This archive exhibition focuses on the Whitechapel Gallery’s community education programme from 1979 to 1989, exploring the role that art plays in society. The display highlights how artists play a part in developing participatory and educational activities and features interviews with key figures, whose involvement helped to cement the Gallery’s pioneering ethos and vision in art and education, including Zarina Bhimji (b. 1963, Mbarara, Uganda), Fran Cottell (b. Kent, UK), Charlie Hooker (b. 1953, London, UK), Denise Jones, Rob Kessler (b. 1951, Solihull, UK) and Jenni Lomax, Community Education Organiser at the time.

Documents, pamphlets, posters, photographs, tape slides, film and audio recordings drawn from the gallery’s extensive archive will be presented for the first time to the public, alongside material from personal archives.

Co-curated by Jenni Lomax, Director, Camden Arts Centre, 1990-2017; Sofia Victorino, Director of Education and Public Programmes, Whitechapel Gallery and Nayia Yiakoumaki, Head of Curatorial Studies, Whitechapel Gallery.

all images © the gallery and the artist(s)

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