A solo exhibition of newly commissioned work by Harold Offeh
18 Jan – 2 Mar
Opening night Thurs 17 Jan 5-9pm
Free & Open To All // Wed-Sat 11-5pm and until 8pm on Thursdays // Turf Projects, 46-47 Trinity Court, Whitgift Centre, Croydon CR0 1UQ.
Croydon Plays Itself takes as its starting point a selection of objects from Museum of Croydon’s display. Harold Offeh was invited by Turf Projects to respond to artefacts from the Museum of Croydon’s collection. Offeh was initially drawn to figures and objects from Croydon’s history: composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, sexologist Havelock Ellis, Jakson’s Lavender oil and the promotional materials accompanying the 1993 edition of Croydon’s Pride festival. Offeh’s approach was to think about how these histories might make points of connection with contemporary Croydon. Through previous works Offeh has been interested in how performance and re-enactments can allow people to establish conversations with histories. Offeh has chosen to work with individuals and groups from Croydon to create a number of responses to the selection of objects from Museum of Croydon. The exhibition installation will seek to use conventions of retail display – in part influenced by Turf’s current location within Croydon’s Whitgift Shopping Centre – to present objects, artefacts, performance and video to audiences. The project invites Croydon to re-visit and re-animate aspects of its own history.
OPENING NIGHT // Thurs 17 Jan, 5-9pm //Free & open to all with BYOB welcome.
Opening night will include a group performance choreographed by Harold Offeh. Croydon Lounging in Croydon will be an evolution of Offeh’s Lounging project, exploring depictions of black men on album covers in repose or lounging – a popular trope for black male singers in the 1980s.
Free activity guides are available for families to explore the exhibition together. Pick up a physical copy at the gallery or click here to download your own; Front / Back
// ABOUT HAROLD OFFEH
Harold Offeh is an artist working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice in a career spanning 20 years. Offeh, often employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture and is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of history. He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally including Tate Britain and Modern, Studio Museum Harlem, South London Gallery, MAC VAL, Kulturhusset Stockholm and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2018, his projects included performances at Publics, a contemporary art space in Helsinki, Finland. Actions: The Image of The World Can Be Different, Kettles Yard, Cambridge, UK. The Real Thing: Towards a Live Authentic Archive as part of Material Experiments at The Tetley in Leeds, UK. Offeh produced a 12-hour live event and film called Down at the Twilight Zone, marking queer experiences of nightlife in Toronto, Canada. In 2019, he will be artist in residence at the Contemporary Art Centre, Art Tower Mito, Japan and have a solo exhibition at Turf Projects in Croydon, London. He studied Critical Fine Art Practice at The University of Brighton and MA Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art. He lives in Cambridge and works in London and Leeds, UK where he is currently a Reader in Fine Art at Leeds Beckett University and visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art, London.
// FREE EXHIBITION EVENTS
ARTISTS LUNCHTIME FEEDBACK // Led by Harold Offeh // Sat 26 Jan 12-2pm > Get feedback on your work from Croydon Plays Itself artist Harold Offeh. Our free lunchtime feedback sessions are a chance to get feedback on your work from a practicing artist in a supportive and friendly environment. All kinds of creative work are welcome. GROUNDWERK 4.4 // Performing the Archive // Sat 26 Jan 2:30-4pm > Groundwerk is a monthly series of free practical workshops for artists and creatives wishing to gain the skills to support their practice. Look at artists’ approaches to working with archives, museums and collections. Explore what an archive is and examine how artists’ can construct their own archives and respond to existing archives. Led by artist Harold Offeh the session will also explore performative approaches to thinking and working with collections and histories. FAMILY ART FUN DAY // Hall of Mirroring // Sat 9 Feb 11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm > Young people and families are invited to work with artist Harold Offeh and explore his exhibition Croydon Plays Itself. Become a mannequin, creating poses and positions which will be mirrored and transformed in the reflected surfaces around the room. Strike a pose, take a picture and add yourself to the exhibition! GROUNDWERK 4.5 // Weaving // Sat 23 Feb 2:30-4pm Led by Susannah Bolton, learn how to weave tapestry, exploring the tactile, sedimentary process of building up an image. ARTISTS LUNCHTIME FEEDBACK // Led by Milly Peck // Sat 23 Feb 12-2pm Our free lunchtime feedback sessions are a chance to get feedback on your work from a practicing artist in a supportive & friendly environment. All kinds of creative work are welcome. CROYDON SCHOOL OF ART WORKSHOPS Exclusively for Croydon School of Art students. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your course tutor for details. SCHOOLS AND GROUP VISITS We work closely with local partner schools, and all schools and groups are welcome to visit our exhibitions. Please book ahead to receive free resources and an intro to the exhibition. Contact email@example.com for more info.
The exhibition and events were made possible with the generous support of the Arts Council England & Croydon Council.