Chloe Dewe Mathews | Congregation



Admission free, Thursday – Sundays only 12.00pm – 6.00pm

Chloe Dewe Mathews presents Congregation, a video installation exploring collective religious experience and specifically, the nature of expressive worship in south London’s African churches commissioned by the community department, Tate Modern. The film installation will be hosted by Bosse & Baum and builds on previous photography work initiated by Tate called Sunday Service which was developed in 2013.

With projected footage gathered over the last year, Congregation offers an opportunity to reflect on the nature of contemporary worship, within one of the fastest growing religious communities in London. The piece, featuring a number of different churches in Peckham and Camberwell, is shown on multiple screens, combining intimate footage of personal reflection, with large-scale shots of communal ecstasy. The installation will be shown at Bosse & Baum, a new gallery based in a former industrial building on the site of a former church, within the Copeland Park Industrial Estate in Peckham.

Congregation is a development of Dewe Mathews’ recent work Sunday Service – a photographic piece commissioned by Tate Modern and shown at the McAulay Gallery in May 2014.  As with much of her work, Chloe Dewe Mathews creates a piece that has formal coherence and aesthetic allure, while being simultaneously rooted in documentary practice. However, inspired by the dynamic and layered spiritual experience she observed, the artist decided to use moving imagery rather than still photography to respond to her subjects, in a departure from her usual practice.

Chloe Dewe Mathews said: “I became increasingly interested in the range of spiritual experiences that people were going through on any given Sunday. It’s the fascinating question of how personal experience becomes something else when in a group – a collective experience.  How we all influence each other, affect each other and feed off each other.  I’m intrigued by congregations as a whole, sometimes performative, other times contemplative but each week a slightly different collective character emerges and it’s more than the sum of its parts ”

There will be a free poster detailing one of the images taken as part of Sunday Service for visitors to take away.

Chloe Dewe Mathews (b. 1982) is an award-winning photographic artist based in London.  After studying fine art at Camberwell College of Arts and the University of Oxford, she worked in the feature film industry before dedicating herself to photography. Her work is recognised internationally with “Shot at Dawn”, her current exhibition touring to STILLS: Scotland’s Centre for Photography, Edinburgh; Tate Modern, London; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and Ivorypress, Madrid.  Public and private collections have acquired her work, including the British Council Art Collection and The National Library of Wales. Chloe’s first monograph was published by Ivorypress in 2014 and her work is often featured in mainstream editorial media such as the Guardian, Sunday Times and Le Monde.

Her awards include the British Journal of Photography International Photography Award, the Julia Margaret Cameron New Talent Award and the Flash Forward Emerging Photographer’s Award.  Her nominations include the Prix Pictet, the Foam Paul Huf Award and the MACK First Book Award. Chloe is currently the Robert Gardner Fellow in Photography at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University.

Free public events will take place during the exhibition  including:

Private View

6.00 – 9.00pm Thursday 28  May

A preview of Chloe Dewe Mathews’ video installation Congregation with a special performance by the Liberty House choir. The choir is part of the Liberty House fellowship based in a former ironmongery in Camberwell. The choir echoes the churches beliefs that people from all cultural and nationality backgrounds can worship together side by side. The choir is a mixed group made up of members of the congregation who worship regularly at Liberty House and sing joyful songs that explore faith encourage worship and the experience of God.

South London Art Map Last Fridays

6.00 – 8.30pm Friday 29 May

South London Last Fridays is the late night opening of galleries in south London on the last Friday of every month. This is a free event, no booking required.

God Bless South London – Faith & Place through the artistic lens – A panel Discussion

6.30pm – 8.30pm Tuesday 2 June

Exploring artists practice in relation to faith and place in the context of South London this fascinating panel discussion brings together diverse perspectives from the faith, local authority and arts community to address key. Focusing on artist’s practice that explores the rituals and religious practices of faith communities and the often industrial spaces they occupy; the panel will examine the transformative and enriching impact the arts and faith communities have on the urban terrain. Confirmed speakers include Michael Cleere; Community Involvement Officer Southwark Council, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Lincoln Serwanga; Pastor Liberty House, Dr. Andrew Rogers; Roehampton University).

Batala London

A special performance

3 -5pm

Saturday 13 June

Join over 40 members of the London-based Brazilian Samba drumming band playing a selection of some of the best samba reggae sounds. The Afro-Brazilian music originated in Salvador, the city with the largest black population outside of Africa, and the first band was founded in 1997 in Paris. There are now 31 Batala bands all over the globe that play this music, coming together for the Notting Hill and the Salvador Carnivals.