Britain 2021 – ‘Coming up for Air’

An exhibition of sculptures, installations and performance at Waterloo Festival this summer.

The Waterloo Festival 2021

‘Respair’ (the return of Hope) and 70th Anniversary Celebration of The Festival of Britain 1951

The London Group and Friends response to the above theme is;

Britain 2021 – ‘Coming up for Air’

St John’s Church Garden, Waterloo SE1 8TY
9th June 2021 – 27th June 2021

Organising curators, Clive Burton LG and Bill Watson LG.

First of all we would like to welcome London Group members back into what will, inevitably, seem a different world. Yet hopefully one in which we can take the results of our twelve months studio exile into this outside space, and not least resume our face to face encounters with fellow, albeit masked artists.

With the publication of the most recent Government guidelines we are now confident that the above exhibition can go ahead. We are preparing to organise visits to the Church Garden to introduce new exhibitors to the space or refresh memories of those who participated in 2018 or 2019. These visits will take place after March 29th. Positioning of actual works can be discussed at this time. Exact visit dates will be forwarded to LG members and Friends shortly.

As a reminder there are three distinct content sections to this exhibition.

1) The exhibiting of Coming up for Air three dimensional works; sculptures, installations and performance.

2) The On-line Subsidiary Exhibition running parallel to the above live exhibition; to showcase the creative working process of participating artists in developing the form of their live work. This section will include subsidiary work that can be from drawing, sketchbook, photos and/or research in other forms.

3) A Monolith will be placed within St John’s Church Garden, proposing a two sided, 8ft high x 4ft wide, each side to contain photo images and some brief texts depicting the work of London Group members contribution to the 1951 Festival of Britain. At that time, exhibitions of sculpture, (Battersea Park) and painting, (Royal Society Art galleries) were held and in addition, collaborative works were commissioned between sculptors, architects and designers to make work for the main South Bank site. Painters were also commissioned to paint murals to be found in the Festival Exhibition Halls.

In the RSA exhibition, ‘60 Paintings for ’51’, 36 of 54 painters and 8 of the 14 sculptors showing at Battersea Park were London Group members at some time in their careers.

The Group first connected with St John’s back in 1950 when London Group member Hans Feibusch was commissioned to paint the main mural (currently being restored) in the church.

The photo images and texts for the ‘Monolith’ have been unearthed through David Redfern’s research. So many thanks Dave and also thanks go to Almuth Tebbenhoff for the apposite phrase, “Coming up for Air”

Some personal serendipitous trivia, of which we expect many; Clive’s Tutor at the Slade 1969, Reg Butler, (1951, exhibitor, Battersea Park and South Bank) and Bill’s External Assessor at Bath Academy, Corsham 1969, Robert Adams, (1951 exhibitor, South Bank).

Bill Watson LG, 2021

St John’s Church Garden, Waterloo

The Group’s indoor Waterloo Festival exhibition In the Dark III: Being There will be taking place in The Crypt at St John’s Sat 19 June – Sun 27 June.