This is British artists Ben Langlands & Nikki Bell’s first exhibition with the Gibberd Gallery, managed by Harlow Art Trust. The Gallery occupies the mezzanine floor of The Civic Centre.
Elevating the status of the model from utilitarian design tool to a beautiful object Langlands & Bell offer an unparalleled opportunity to view for the first time over thirty of their working models. The unique works of art illustrate the intelligent exploration of relationships between people and architecture, an important strand of their practice.
Following their student installation titled The Kitchen over thirty years ago at art school, they contoversially insisted on doing a joint degree, thereby launching their highly successful collaboration. Their artistic practice includes sculpture, film and video, photography, innovative digital and interactive technology and architecture
Since the early 1990s they have also been collating data and information produced by systems of mass communication including an expanding volume of acronyms that include those used by Art Museums around the world to identify themselves.
Works from A MUSE UM series, a dynamic collection of nine prints published by Alan Cristea Gallery, London, are being shown with the models in the central space. Also from this series a neon sculpture BOZAR = MUSAC (A Muse Um) is on the left as you enter the gallery. A decode list identifying the museums is on the reading table.
Their first sculpture to incorporate an architectual model, Chair with Model of the Basement of the National Gallery, 1986, is also included in the exhibition in the window space at the front of the Civic Centre.
Between many other inspiring and important commissions in 2002 they were commissioned by the Imperial War Museum, London, to visit Afghanistan to research The Aftermath of September 11th and the War in Afghanistan. Following this they produced The House of Osama bin Laden the Turner Prize nominated trilogy of artworks shown at Tate Britain and since presented in nineteen museums and galleries in eleven countries worldwide. Large-scale projects within the public domain by Langlands & Bell include Paddington Station Bridge, Paddington Basin, London, 2004, Moving World (Night & Day), 2007 at Heathrow Terminal 5 and Call & Response, The Paris Metro T3 Tramway Interchange at Porte de Vincennes, Paris completed in 2012.
This exhibition is a fitting display of work for a town with a reputation for design, architecture and an outstanding collection of over seventy sculptures set in urban areas, main squares and precincts fostering a creative dialogue with the people who live here whilst also being a national attraction.
Listen now to the 'in conversation' Langlands & Ben had with David Mitchinson here at the gallery on the 5th July by following the link below. Please feel free to pick out and comment on parts which you find inspiring.
Saturday Opening 16th August between 10am and 2pm
We offer our thanks and gratitiude to Simon Silver for lending three artworks, Newhall projects who sponsored part of this exhibition and Alan Cristea Gallery, London.
Website link: Langlands & Bell