Please note the honorarium is for the initial time required to develop a collaborative proposal.
Since 2013 artist Chloe Dewe Mathews has developed a body of work that explores the urban environment of the London Borough of Southwark and its rich community of African churches. Sunday Service (2013), commissioned by Tate Modern, explored the reinvention of architectural space in the urban environment, cataloguing a rapid shift from industrial to religious space, while its companion piece, Congregation (2015), looked more closely at the collective religious experience and the nature of expressive worship. Many of Dewe Mathews’s projects take years of preparation, however this body of work is unique in that it represents a sustained engagement with the specifics of her local area and its communities over an extended period.
Dewe Mathews initially produced Sunday Service as a response to the remarkable fact that in 2011 Southwark had the highest density of African Christianity anywhere in the world outside Africa. Five years on, Dewe Mathews is interested to return to this subject and has been working with Dr. Andrew Rogers (Principal Lecturer in Practical Theology) at Roehampton University on new research that suggests the African population is now moving east, away from Southwark. Peckham has been going through the process of gentrification for over a decade and much anecdotal evidence from church leaders suggests that issues finding space are more keenly felt within the community than ever.
TBOPR are seeking to commission Dewe Mathews to develop a new work that would use the research and questions posed in Sunday Service and Congregation as a starting point, from which to examine the specific nature of Pentecostal worship in Peckham today. As part of the commission we are seeking to develop a collaborative partnership with an artist whose practice explores similar themes and/or has a connection to local communities in Southwark, to ensure this project brings a necessary and relevant response to Peckham’s changing religious landscape. We envisage the collaboration will result in a co-authored work made in discussion with TBOPR and other members of the community.