The Showroom Mural Commission is a unique project for artists to activate the building's emblematic facade. For this third intervention, artist Adam Shield presents a total installation, where his exhibition Amp Envelope extended from The Showroom facade to the interior walls and surfaces of the exhibition space; incorporating entry points for public, collaborative processes of production to unfold. The exhibition continued until Saturday 17 September 2022, and the mural's duration continues until July 2023.
The grid, a recurring motif for Shield, wraps around The Showroom facade and weaved in and out of the various spaces and timeframes of the show, creating a pattern of energies and tempos; a rhythmic network within which the distinct yet inter-connected elements of the project are situated.
Inside the exhibition space a series of hanging textile banners demarcated thresholds; a publication production zone for workshops houses a Risograph printer, ink-drums, photocopier and scanner as an in-situ print studio for public use. Shield’s new series of large-scale drawings punctuated the space; with images drawn in black synthetic bitumen ink overlaid on swathes of screen-printed colour and set against walls of wide, warping grids. They explore the blurring of inner and outer worlds, drawing resonances between individual perspectives and wider structural conditions.
For the mural commission Adam Shield has taken as a starting point a period of research into local, radical grassroots print presses in North West London, including The Poster Workshop on Camden Road which ran from 1968-71; the Paddington Printshop and later londonprintstudio on Harrow Road, amongst others. Each used vibrant imagery through poster campaigns and a wide array of printed matter to amplify local voices, often focusing on housing rights and neighbourhood initiatives, as well as gigs and festivals. Often providing platforms for articulating resistance to the status quo, self-publishing continues to enable trans-local countercultures and subcultures to distribute alternative narratives via low-fi, hand-made means.
Informed by Shield’s long-term interest in self-publishing and DIY production processes, Amp Envelope focuses on carrying forward the possibilities of publishing and print-making to generate new spaces of experimentation, reflection, collaboration and exchange. Enveloping the exterior walls of The Showroom, Shield’s hand-printed grid creates a layout device which is being used to locate and position posters of varying scales that will be produced during public workshops over the course of the exhibition. The mural will evolve as new posters are pasted up and layered over time; a work-in-progress accumulating throughout and beyond the timeframe of the show through to Summer 2023.
First cycle of dates: Saturdays 23 & 30 July; 6 & 13 August, 11am–4pm
No previous experience required, sign up for one or more sessions.
For more information or to book a place contact [email protected]
Amp Envelope explores processes of self-publishing as a site and generator of public discussion and exchange. A series of public poster-making workshops focused on drawing, collage and print are running within the exhibition space as an inherent part of the show.
Having worked in the Church Street area for several years as a technician at The Showroom, these workshops build on Adam Shield’s research processes and The Showroom’s established connections to people and groups within neighbouring organisations, including the Church Street Library, the Sunflower Coop and the Penfold Hub. The workshops also build upon Shield’s existing partnership as one half of Long Distance Press, a postal art project with artist Thomas Whittle that quickly turned into collaborative works, publications and exhibitions between Glasgow, Newcastle, London and Edinburgh.
Zine and comic book culture offer tools for processing and communicating current social and political movements, where the personal crosses over with the political. Each workshop at The Showroom will open up discussion amongst a small group, and will lead to the creation of a collage of overlapping voices and imagery on the facade of the building.
The Church Street neighbourhood, within which The Showroom has been situated for over a decade, is in the midst of a period of major longterm redevelopment. Throughout Amp Envelope The Showroom will act as a hub enabling a relay between critical reflection, production and the amplification of voices, concerns and imaginative interpretation from the local area and beyond.
With special thanks to Sam Austen, Chenelle Hastick Bartholomew and the Church Street Library team, Vanya Cantone, Mahsa Dehghani, Elliott Denny, Oana Damir, Omar El Fassi and team, Alessia Franchi, Lily Hall, Anna Hughes, Ishqha Khidzr, Seema Manchanda, Campbell McConnell, Corie Denby McGowan, Paulina Michnowska, John Phillips, Gabriela Salgado, Alex Simpson, We design for the community (Axel Feldmann and Marco Ugolini), and to Thomas Whittle.
Image: The Showroom Mural Commission – Adam Shield: Amp Envelope, 2022-23. Photo: The Showroom
Download a copy of the full exhibition text here and map here
The Showroom Mural Commission – Adam Shield: Amp Envelope, 2022-23 is generously supported by the Abbey Harris Mural Fund
The Showroom is supported using public funding by Arts Council England
Adam Shield lives and works in London.
He studied at the Royal Academy Schools (2014-17) and BA Fine Art at Newcastle University (2007-11).
Since 2013 he has been co-running Long Distance Press (LDP) with artist Thomas Whittle. Working between Glasgow, Newcastle, London and Edinburgh, LDP started as a postal art project that quickly turned into collaborative works, publications and exhibitions.
Across 2023-24 LDP will develop a new public artwork with The Showroom as part of the programme of public art commissions in partnership with Lacuna, supported by Great Western Developments at Tanner Lane, situated between Paddington Square and St Mary’s Hospital.