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HyperFocal, a piece by artist Es Devlin OBE.

Pitzhanger exhibition will live long in the memory

A stunning new exhibition mapping landscape through time, charting the changes in how humans see the world is now showing at Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery. It comes courtesy of Memory Palace, a new exhibition from the acclaimed and versatile artist Es Devlin OBE.

Known for her work across art, theatre and music, Devlin has charted the great shifts in society, using mirrors to add to the dimensions of the 18-metre-wide sculpture – challenging viewers to reimagine their ideas of time and space.Memory Palace is named after the classical recollection technique which catalogues memories within familiar locations.

It takes viewers from the caves in South Africa where humans made their first drawings, all the way through to the study in Switzerland where the world wide web was conceived.

Along the way there are references to the tower in Poland, where Nicolaus Copernicus drew the first heliocentric map of the universe in 1543, to the rooms where Mary Wollstonecroft wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women and the street in Montgomery, Alabama where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in 1955.

The exhibition takes readers all the way to the steps of the Riksdaghuset in Stockholm where Greta Thunberg began her School Strike for Climate in 2018.

The locations and moments have been chosen by Devlin and her team to invoke our collective memories and history, provoking dialogue and debate along the way.

Pitzhanger Manor itself is the Grade I listed home of visionary British architect Sir John Soane and the restoration has been completed with his original vision for the building in mind. Memory Palace follows the hugely successful and acclaimed exhibition from Turner Prize-winning Anish Kapoor.

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council said: “Memory Palace is the second high-profile exhibition to be featured by Pitzhanger since it was re-opened to the public in March of this year. I am sure it will further enhance the borough’s growing reputation as a top destination in London for art and culture.

“Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery is the crown jewel of Ealing’s heritage and is the successful culmination of a careful and meticulous restoration project led by the council. It’s an outstanding piece of cultural history and first-class art gallery on our doorstep.”

Clare Gough, director of Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery added: “Es Devlin’s immense talent in fusing artistic genres would have appealed to John Soane, who highlighted the poetry of architecture and was himself a passionate collector and creator of architectural models and plaster casts.

“We hope visitors will be inspired to engage with Devlin’s own take on the transformative moments of thought and action across human history.”

There are a number of activities taking place at Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery this autumn including a Late at Pitzhanger event (Friday 1 November, 6–9pm, £10). It involves a celebration of Es Devlin: Memory Palace, with tours, performances and music.

  • Es Devlin: Memory Palace runs at Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, Mattock Lane, London W5 5EQ until 12 January 2020
  • Opening hours are: Tuesday – Friday: 10am-4.30pm, Saturday 10am-3pm, Sunday, 10am-4.30pm, Monday, closed (except bank holidays).
  • If you’re an Ealing resident, you can visit the Manor and Gallery for free all day every Tuesday and until noon on Sundays.

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