7th February – 8th April 2018
South Gallery, WHITE CUBE, Bermondsey
Anyone that knows me knows that I am a long-time listener of Koollondon, the long running underground radio station that started up as Kool Fm in 1991! So, when they announced earlier this year that they were going to be featured in another of Eddie Peake’s exhibitions I got super excited as we missed the last exhibition at the Royal Academy of arts a few years back; Peake also featured Koollondon as a central part of his art, part of which is the studio where The Guvnor Eastman and his koollondon DJs perform their shows from, during opening hours.
On the opening day of the exhibition, ‘Concrete Pitch’ I was lucky enough to have the day off work, so I brought my hubby along to have a look around and a listen. White Cube, Bermondsey is not hard to find with a google map app. The building is very modern; you enter through a rather large glass door where a small reception area awaits. It’s split into north and south gallery; south gallery is where the magics at; a big empty hallway with a polished concrete floor leads you into the building. The emptiness, art in itself.
When we reached the south gallery, the first thing I noticed was the dark tunnel to my left. There was a lack of the sound which I wasn’t expecting; instead there was a hum (like something you’d meditate to) as if I could hear the city from inside. A Pink light shone bright lighting up a painting of a face in profile with obscure writing, the sound, that hum, then the Information Centre, DJ Lisa Dizzy Blonde’s familiar smile beaming out from behind the glass. I love that girl; she doesn’t stop moving, and as you get closer the hum fades and the sounds of the Kool studio speakers takes over.
I personally feel one of the journalists from a london publication missed the point when he told his readers that he feels Peake has used too many different forms of media in the exhibition. The multi-media (to me) reflect the eclectic versatility of an artist growing up in inner city London. Gone are the days where a room was too small for one painting. How can the journalist in one sentence say it’s Peake’s best work yet, and then say that there is too much going on? The exhibition is like a mood board of Peake’s mind, through time.
Performing You, which the journalist featured in his piece, is much more than just painted words on a mirror; it is a reflection of you and as you stand back you notice it reflecting onto the floor by your feet. He also uses information paraphrased directly from the gallery information leaflet, without accrediting the gallery or stating who or where he got his information from, unprofessional. Did he speak to the gallery staff? Did he interview Peake or?! I feel he missed the point completely.
I have to say first impressions I was like wow; it felt like I was being invited further in and even though I wanted to see more of Kool, I really wanted to walk along the raised pavement like, eye trickery, I’m sure I saw a foot? What I later on found out was Stroud Green Road, is an interesting and raw piece, and the multitude of different objects and materials used, makes you look twice.
The pink that softly lights the whole Concrete Pitch made me feel comfortable, it was as if the most important parts of Eddie Peake’s memories all resided right there in one room. His art is edgy, provocative and maybe too different for some, but I loved the whole experience.
Koollondon has been the inspiration and the salvation for many jungle music lovers. Since it started broadcasting in 1991, including Peake, he has stated this in interviews on kool and if you don’t know who Eddie Peake is, the leaflet the gallery provides, has a nice summery about him. But I as a kool listener feel that this clearly shows the care and attention to detail he put into creating the studio for Kool inside the gallery.
We met Eastman outside the entrance into the information centre, he is the boss of the radio station, and as we are privileged enough to know him, we were lucky enough to get invited inside to have a look. He told us a bit about Peake. Despite knowing many of the djs and mcs that are on kool, we’ve never been to the studio before, and this, if you are a listener of kool, it’s probably one of the coolest things! We got to spend the best part of the afternoon chilling inside with Eastman, Lisa Dizzy Blonde, Q-Gritty, Dj Bamz, Dj Jaguar Paw and MC Yush; these Djs and MCs started off the official opening day of the exhibition.
It was fantastic being a part of it, seeing the chat room screen lighting up with people we know and love saying they saw us in the gallery on the live feed that is running 3 different views from inside the studio, one of which, is pointing out, so you can see the visitors outside in the gallery.
I am already planning to take my kids there in the half term holiday, it is free entry and is open from 10am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday and 12noon-6pm Sunday.
The exhibition opened to the public on the 7th of February and will run until the 8th of April, it has been running for a week now. According to the gallery, Eddie Peake himself, will be in the exhibition where he has created a routine that he follows throughout the day. And the information centre will be featuring several of koollondons DJs And MCs, playing their shows and streaming a live video feed on the internet. – Chrissy aka Lady Ditty