Art in the Age of Now is a multi-disciplinary exhibition held in the old Fulham Town Hall. A building which dominates the high street, it has been left abandoned and unused for 20 years. Now as part of a last hurrah prior to redevelopment, it’s been taken over by artists.
Curated by Ben Moore, ‘Art in the Age of Now’ makes use of what is a rare space. A place, built in 1890, which at one time was at the heart of civic life in the area. Even now the old court chambers and the ballroom can be visited. Grand staircases illuminated by the light from impressive stained glass windows are still there. Deeper into the building’s basement and old cells can also still be explored. Shut up and closed down for years this space is like a time capsule.
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Fulham Town Hall
For visitors to ‘Art in the Age of Now’ it’s a rare chance not only to see inside this unique building but also to engage with installations from multiple artists. For Moore it was a challenge he was given and happy to take on. The founder of Art Below the agency is perhaps known for it’s turning of advertising space into art space. Moore has also curated exhibitions across the world. Using his contacts it didn’t take long to drum up the interest needed to occupy such a space.
The result is that everywhere you turn in the old Fulham Town Hall there are art installations. An artist himself, Ben’s own work is prominent. The grand hall is dominated with a replica of Stonehenge. He calls the work ‘Los Hengeles’. In another long room upstairs a series of colourful stormtrooper helmets and imagery can be found. Called ‘Art Wars‘ it features work from various artists who have transformed the iconic helmet. Moore himself has previously taken the image of the stormtrooper and subverted it as part of his own practice.
Art in the Age of Now
Elsewhere within ‘Art in the Age of Now’ full room takeovers have been modelled by artists such as LUAP, Dotmasters, Paul Don Smith and Spore. All have gone in and done their own own thing. Constrained only by the boundaries of the area they’ve chosen to occupy. Each space has it’s own unique stamp. In the rooms and down the corridors. Basically it’s everywhere you choose to look.
Alongside Los Hengeles, standouts include sculptural works from Charlotte Colbert and Conrad Shawcross. Colbert’s ‘Mastectomy Mameria’ is a particular highlight. Standing alone in the former wide ornate assembly room it is lit from the light streaming in through the floor to ceiling windows. It makes for a striking and contrasting image. Shawcross’s installation meanwhile plays with his themes of light, geometry and movement. The installation within the Fulham Town Hall doesn’t disappoint. A light set within a mesh of interlacing cubes casting a network of shadow patterning across the interior walls.
Range of Artists
The breadth of artists contributing covers all genres. Joe Rush, known for his mechanical sculptures has spent most of lockdown creating. Much of this can now be seen in the former ballroom. Downstairs in the basement well known artists on the street art scene are prominent. Ben Eine, Nerone, Teach, Paul Insect and Paul Don Smith have all been in and done their thing. Art Below’s own archive of London Underground posters will also be exhibited throughout. Something which will compliment a display due to be shown at Fulham Broadway station, just opposite the Fulham Town Hall.
Eventually Fulham Town Hall will be redeveloped. Slated to be a hotel it’s certainly in a prime location. The idea of installing artworks within it gives it a kind of last hurrah. An opportunity for the public to experience the space as it is prior to it’s own transformation. The exhibition itself will be co-presented by Moore and the hotel operators the Lamington Group. Development on the building is set to start shortly afterwards in time for the creation of a hotel and community hub in 2022.
Art in the Age of Now is a free public art exhibition held at the Fulham Town Hall. It has been curated by Ben Moore from Art Below and the Lamington Group. The exhibition will take place from 20 May 2021 to 6 June 2021 and tickets can be booked here. The address is 553-561 Fulham Road, London, SW6 1EX.