Off The Fence Artists: William Lindley

This year’s Brockwell Live festival season celebrates 50 years of the Lambeth Country Show with a spectacular collaboration between artists and local community. The perimeter fence of the month-long festival site will be transformed into a large-scale installation honouring Lambeth’s history of radical celebration. 

In collaboration with Brockwell Live, The Brixton Project has commissioned five artists, through a widespread open call, to design artwork for the fence based on community ideas and memories of celebration. 

Selected artists misha B, Lorna Jean-Charles, Akmaral Khassen, William Lindley, Habiba Nabisubi and Kes Young, were invited to run creative workshops with local residents of all ages as part of the Brixton Project’s innovative Community Research Exchange. The workshops set out to gather the disparate voices of Lambeth’s local residents to share personal and collective narratives through dynamic, creative means.
Informed by the stories and visual representations gathered in these community workshops, the artists’ designs make up an immersive installation of joyous expression, that captures the vibrant spirit of Lambeth’s local community.

We caught up with the artists to learn more about them, their process and the Off The Fence project.

What inspired you to get involved with the Off The Fence project?

“I have been a Brixton resident for five years and have enjoyed getting to know the area and becoming part of the community. I thought Off the Fence last year was great and welcomed the opportunity to be involved with this year’s project celebrating Brixton. I often work in other parts of the UK and it is good to be working in my neighbourhood on this project, which builds on my projection ‘Brixton Panorama’ which I created last year for the London Festival of Architecture.”

 

Since its inception, The Brockwell Fence has been a polarising point of debate and discussion amongst the Lambeth community. What do you hope your artwork and this project can contribute to the discussion?

“Brockwell Park is one of London’s most loved parks and I enjoy visiting it often. I think the different opinions are a sign of the passionate commitment that many people feel to the area, and Off The Fence is a wonderful opportunity for us local artists to contribute to the debate. My artwork is intended to reflect the locality of the area and reimagine the park and the surrounding streets in a way that sparks people’s imaginations, and provides inspiration for thinking creatively about our community from many different perspectives. ”

 

How did working at the CRX inform your process? Were there any unexpected or interesting outcomes of working in the community?

“Working as an artist can be a solitary existence at times, so I always welcome the opportunity to collaborate with local residents in my projects through workshops. For Off the Fence I visited the newly opened Lambeth Archives on Brixton Hill to get an insight into historic celebrations in the borough, with this material being used as the primary inspiration for the drawing workshop at CRX. The workshop was a great opportunity to engage with local residents about the project, and some wonderful and unexpected drawings emerged, some of which I have incorporated into the artwork for the fence.”

William Lindley

William Lindley is a visual artist based in South London. His artistic practice is influenced by his background in architecture, regeneration and research in the UK, the Netherlands and Egypt.
His work primarily explores the evolution of place and landscape, and has been presented in many settings, including museums, concert halls, libraries, parks and historic buildings. He frequently collaborates with other artists and practices to deliver projects with communities.
He has created site-specific commissions and installations across the UK, including projections for Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire, a collaborative project with local residents at Portsmouth Central Library, a project with a neuroscientist at The University of Sussex and a moving image to accompany a live performance of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite for the London Medical Orchestra.