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This year’s Serpentine Pavilion design revealed – South London News

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By Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter

The first pictures have been revealed of a new outdoor event space set to open at the Serpentine Galleries this summer.

A giant circular building made from wood with light streaming in through the roof will be built at Kensington Gardens.

Named “Black Chapel”, the  venue will host live performances for the latest Serpentine Pavilion – a major annual event in the art world.

The shape of this year’s pavilion draws from the kilns of Stoke-on-Trent – a reminder of the heyday of Britain’s pottery industry.

The Serpentine Pavilion has been running since 2000 and is a chance for famous international creatives to make their first building in England.

Black Chapel was designed by US artist Theaster Gates with help from architects Adjaye Associates, created by London South Bank University graduate Sir David Adjaye.

Gates designed this year’s pavilion taking inspiration from the process of making clay, which he often uses in his sculptures.

The project, called ‘The Question of Clay’, is a collaboration with the V&A Museum, White Chapel Gallery and White Cube Gallery with funding from Goldman Sachs investment bank.

The Black Chapel

A statement on the Serpentine’s website says: “The project seeks to investigate the making, labour and production of clay, as well its collecting history, through exhibitions, performance and live interventions.

“The Question of Clay aims to generate new knowledge, meaning and connections about this material.”

It adds: “The structure’s circularity and volume echo the form of a sacred space or a chapel that protects and gathers.

“The Pavilion once again becomes a platform for live performances and public convenings throughout Serpentine’s dynamic summer programme.”

Gates, a professor at the University of Chicago, is the first artist to design a pavilion – the job is usually given to architects.

The wooden structure has a bronze bell at the entrance, taken from a Chicago church that was bulldozed in 2014.

Black Chapel is a waterproof, environmentally-friendly structure that will be re-built elsewhere when the pavilion ends in the autumn.

Last year’s summer pavilion was designed by South African firm Counterspace and led by Sumayya Vally, the youngest architect to direct the project in its history.

It was made from recycled building waste and paid tribute to London’s migrant communities.

This year’s pavilion will be open between June 10 and October 16.

 

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