Neville's practice is focused on responding to locations which are in the process of change. In practical terms his work has been manifested as a series of temporary interventions, books and films made in response to specific locations or situations. These sites are not arbitrary or randomly selected, but fit together, being places in a state of physical or social flux. Projects are developed over a sustained period of time and often involve working in collaboration with other artists and writers. Previous projects include POSTS published by Penguin Books [photographs from this publication have been exhibited in Japan Korea, Germany, Portugal, South Africa and the UK] Artist in Residence at Tate Liverpool; a four month residency at Halley Research Station, Antarctica with the British Antarctic survey; three years as artist in residence on a building site in Bristol – Cabot Circus 'bs1' and a five year project in a North Liverpool Tower block 'up in the air'. He has worked on residencies as far afield as Guangzhou in China, a remote town in western Australia at International Art Space Kellerberrin Australia, as well as working on a photographic project with the NGO 'Right to Play' in Afghan Refugee camps in Pakistan. The 'Right to Play' programme was established by a three-time Olympic gold medal winner Johann Koss. His work is included in the Tate Gallery and Arts Council Collections.
With additional Arts Council funding and with the support of Bristol Alliance and Insite Arts, Neville Gabie invited and curated an additional seven artists to make temporary work in response to the development site. The artists were; Leo Fitzmaurice, Dryden Goodwin, Dan Perjovschi, Marie-Jeanne Hoffner, Dawson/Maia, David Ogden and the writer Donna Daley-Clarke. There was an exhibition of the resulting work in a vacant shop in Broadmead in 2008 and the publication is also dedicated to their work.www.nevillegabie.com/olympic2.html
in collaboration with David Ogden
Between March and September 2007 Neville Gabie and David Ogden, director of the City of Bristol Choir, collaborated on a project to record songs on the Cabot Circus building site. With over 72 different nationalities working on the construction site, the intention was to record songs in as many different languages as possible. With that as a resource, the choir of 100 then learnt 18 different songs in 18 different languages before. In October 2007 the choir of 100 was invited onto the building site and from the shell of what is now the House of Frazer Store, and using speakers across the whole site, they performed a specially composed Cantata to the staff. The Cantata was then performed in St James Priory, bringing together the oldest and newest buildings in the city.
The publication includes a DVD of the performance, full musical scores and a text by David Ogden and Neville Gabie
Published Insite Arts 2008 ISBN 978-0-9547300-5-5 Design, Alan Ward, www.axisgraphicdesign.co.uk
Over the course of the residency Neville Gabie developed a project inviting anyone working on the development to propose a meal of their choice which reflected their cultural background. Selected meals were then prepared by professional chefs from Bristol and beyond before being brought back onto the building site and served to the ‘guests’ of the person who proposed the meal. Some meals were small, served to a dozen guests, whilst others might involve everyone on a particular site and be for more the 300 people. The intention of the project was to produce a cook book which not only functioned as such, but also to produce a photographic document which recorded the development and the site staff. The publication is an eclectic set of recipes from traditional pie and mash, to curries, Lithuanian and Polish recipes and even a cake from Slovakia.This project would not have been possible without the goodwill and support of many restaurants and chefs from London to Bristol.
THE PROMISED LAND
The final publication in the set of four charts two specific permanent pieces of work developed by Neville Gabie at Cabot Circus. ‘A Weight of Stone Carried From China For You’ and ’100% Ford Mondeo’. The two works, a granite curb stone and two concrete columns can be seen in Penn Street, Braodmead and the third floor of the Cabot Circus carpark.
A Weight of Stone Carried From China For You is a journey Neville Gabie made to fetch a Granite curb stone from a quarry in China, bringing it back to Bristol in Truck, Trains, Ferry and car. Once back in Bristol the stone was installed into the street as part of all the repaving for Cabot Circus using Chinese Granite. The intention of the journey was to consider the global trading networks involved in contemporary construction projects and to highlight the carbon footprint of such trading.
100% Ford Mondeo All the steel used to construct the carpark at Cabot Circus is recycled and in an attempt to reveal that legacy, Neville Gabie followed the journey of one specific quantity of steel. Having purchased a car on Ebay, he then recorded it’s journey through the scrapping and smelting process. Once the steel from the car was made into re-bar he followed it’s journey back onsite where it was used to support two concrete columns in the carpark.
The Promised Land The publication also includes a video work The Promised Land filmed during the opening event for the Cabot Circus shopping centre. Opened in September 2008 and the beginning of the financial crisis, the video describes the blind optimism of consumerism.
The publication has two texts; ‘The Secrets of Human Existence’ by Tessa Jackson and ‘Where is the Public in Public Art – The pioneering Work of Neville Gabie’ by Peter Jenkinson
Published Insite Arts 2009 ISBN 978-0-9561407-0-8 Design Alan Ward www.axisgraphicdesign.co.uk Editor Helen Tookey