Gill Hedley

Writer and Curator

Archive 2018

Gill Hedley speaking at Site Gallery, Sheffield, in 2006

© Gill Hedley
Last updated 9 Apr 2022

Gill Hedley is a writer, an independent curator and a consultant on contemporary visual arts. This is an archive of projects, exhibitions, events and news she has been involved with. These stories are re-used elsewhere on the site as notes. Divided by year - please use the menu below:

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Dear Gill,

You and your friends are warmly invited to my talk: The Value of Fragments, at the British Academy, 22nd November 2018, 7.00pm (with reflections on my art residency at the British School at Athens). All are welcome! The event is free, and will be followed by a wine reception overlooking the Mall. Please find an invitation attached (PDF).

With best wishes,


picture of Lorrice dancing down steps
cover of book

I was commissioned to write a history of the Incorporated Church Building Society which celebrates its 200th anniversary this spring.

In the confused and debt-ridden years just after Waterloo a group of influential men persuaded the government to commit substantial funds to create churches in urban areas to cope with the influx of migrants from the countryside displaced by the Industrial Revolution. Extraordinarily, a grant of one million pounds was voted, followed swiftly by another half million. Yet the same group of men decided to raise their own funds with a greater emphasis on extending existing churches and making as many seats possible free to all worshippers.

ICBS finally became absorbed in to the National Churches Trust under the chairmanship of Michael Hoare, whose family provided many of the Treasurers from 1818 onwards. Hoares Bank has commissioned the book to support the work of NCT and it is published by Umbria Press.

→ see the link to buy the book (www)

St. Mary’s, Market Place, Ilkeston, Derbyshire,
1855. This 13th century parish church was
rebuilt between 1853 and 1855 by Thomas
Larkins Walker with a grant from ICBS. The
chantry chapel was rebuilt to accommodate
nearly 300 children and new seating, flooring,
heating and lighting were installed. It is listed
Grade II* by National Heritage for England.
Photo credit: Erewash Borough Council.

After a long lazy summer I am pleased to let you know about three exhibitions with which I have NOT been directly involved! Though I am working with all three artists.

Lorrice Douglas is giving a lecture on 22 November in connection with her recent residency at the British School at Athens and I will send details nearer the time.

Meanwhile from 14th September Lorrice is showing as part of the fifth edition of the London Creative Network (LCN) Showcase (www). This illustrates how artists are continuously exploring new technologies and ideas to push contemporary art practice as a dynamic and engaged contribution to wider culture. The event is an expansive presentation of new developments and works in progress, ranging from collaborative pieces to interdisciplinary approaches and publications. It is an intersection between visual art, craft, digital technology, design and research.

Ann Sutton is in a group show The Most Real Thing (www) at the New Arts Centre, Roche Court, from 15th September.

The exhibition brings together diverse artists and makers to examine the ongoing relationship between sculpture and textiles, including work made using a range of techniques and media, from three-dimensional objects, contemporary painting, costume and performance to fabric, craft and design.

The title of the exhibition is taken from Anni Albers' 1938 essay Work with Material in which she claimed: "...we must come down to earth from the clouds where we live in vagueness and experience the most real thing there is: material."

at the opening

Ann Sutton's website (www)
summary of Ann's work on this site

Martha Orbach is at Lumen (www) from 28th September with White Out: a new story about a man and his brain. What happens when your brain malfunctions? You want to move but you're frozen. The team are trying to fix it - electricity, surgery, programming. In a series of prints and hand-drawn animation, White Out charts one man's attempt to understand what is happening to him and keep track of the line between himself and his symptoms. It is a collaboration between artist Martha Orbach and patients and staff at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. Private view: 6.30-8.30pm, Thursday 27th 2018 Open 12 - 6pm, 28th - 30th September 2018.

Ann Sutton’s exhibition Looking Through: Presenting new works by Ann Sutton will be at Winchester School of Art this summer 2018. They staged her exhibition of developmental studies - No Cheating - in 1995 and now she returns with an exhibition of new work.

Please RSVP for Tues 10th July to:
Jennifa Ghazi on, or
Dr August Jordan Davis (Director) on

Ann Sutton In Conversation with Gill Hedley

Tuesday, 10 July 2018, 5pm to 6pm
Lecture Theatre A, First Floor, West Side Campus Building
Winchester School of Art

Private View Reception and Sales Night

Tuesday, 10 July 2018, 6pm to 8pm
The Winchester Gallery, Ground Floor, West Side Building, WSA Campus

Ann Sutton's website (www)
→ catalogue essay On The Grid on Ann's latest work (PDF)
→ installation photos of On The Grid at Gallery Oldham
summary of Ann's work on this site

The Winchester Gallery
Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton
West Side Campus Building, Ground Floor
Park Avenue, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8DL

Open: Wednesday, 11 July 2018 – Wednesday, 15 August 2018
Mondays – Fridays, 10am to 4pm, Saturdays, 11am to 3pm

installation of work at Gallery Oldham Installation shot of On The Grid, Gallery Oldham, 2016

Installation shot of On The Grid, Gallery Oldham, 2016

Grant Museum of Zoology,
Rockefeller Building, University College London,
21 University Street, London WC1E 6DE.
Mon-Sat 1-5pm. Admission free

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva’s latest iteration of her Making Beauty project is in London and I do urge to you to see it.

Not only is the work ethereal and remarkable but the setting – the University of London’s Grant Museum of Zoology – is a gem in which Elpi’s works sits as a provocation and complement.

The work is for sale, and not at gallery prices. I will send details of an evening event in due course, but I would recommend a quiet visit on your own first – it is a treat. Please let me know if you would like to receive a pdf of images and installation shots if you cannot get to Bloomsbury.

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva's website (www)
summary of Elpida's work on this site

I am working with the John Deakin Archive to find more photographs by this extraordinary character and to learn more about his life before he met Francis Bacon. He worked a great deal beyond his usual patch of Soho and new images - not just portraits - have been identified from time spent in Genoa, Rome, Paris and Athens; his war-time work is just beginning to be uncovered, too.

In the 1930s he travelled all over the world while he was living with Arthur Jeffress: my biography of that character is still growing, too ...

John Deakin in gondola Courtesy Robin Muir
Mark Lancaster, in his studio, Newcastle University photo by Chris Morphet, courtesy Chris Morphet and Mark Lancaster

Just what was is that made yesterday’s homes so different, so appealing (Upgrade) 2004. © R. Hamilton

There is a talk on Thurs 9th Nov by the curators Dr Anne Massey and Gill Hedley.

→ Catalogue essay Pioneers of Pop


In 1953, Britain had a new young queen and cities like Newcastle upon Tyne felt optimistic and modern.

In 1966, England won the World Cup.

Between those dates, Richard Hamilton taught in the Fine Art Department of King’s College. In London he had been a part of The Independent Group, a radical group of young artists, writers and architects, who met at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and challenged the modernist (and as they saw it, elitist) culture dominant at that time.

One of Hamilton’s contributions was a definition of pop art which, as he wrote to the architects Peter and Ann Smithson (who met at Newcastle) would be: Popular, transient, expendable, low-cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, and Big Business.

Pop art also flourished at the Royal College in London; pop was only a small part of Hamilton’s work. He spent much of his time in Newcastle creating exhibitions, designing posters and making his own work, teaching by example how to become an individual artist. Students and staff went to lunchtime dances, music clubs and poetry readings. Men who had the cash or worked as Saturday shop assistants bought the latest US imports from Marcus Price’s boutique. In 1965, Bob Dylan even tried on a jacket there.

Hundreds of artists passed through the Fine Art department between 1953-1966. None remained pop artists but all were affected by the changing, lively party city; most would agree with Rose Frain:

Living in Newcastle was wonderful and the Department was heaven.

I am honoured to say that I have just joined the Art Monthly Foundation as a trustee. For those of you who are not yet subscribers, please do support this wonderful publication:


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