Tonight I’m curating an event to launch Architecture Week through Futurecity arts at Chelsea Space Gallery. It will be the first public reading of The Gilt of Cain, the poem to be placed inside a sculptor near Liverpool Street Station as a commission from The City of London Commission on the abolition of the slave trade act. Previous to this 6pm I attend a west london meeting with Lisa. With the event ahead of me it was somewhat difficult to concentrate. Meeting done, we catch a taxi to Chelsea space.
Pulse8 the singers are there ready to set off the entire event. Though I was asked to curate the event inside the Gallery I decided that the singers would sing outside, on a granite ledge in front of the floor to ceiling glass frontage. The ledge faces the square that has just been refurbished and on the other side of it, is Tate Britain, Tate’s contribution to Britain from the proceeds of slavery. It was slavery which enabled the sugar trade that made Tate and Lyle. The sun shone gloriously and the early evening honey coloured light set the tone as the harmonies rise.
The singing is beautiful and shockingly good. These singers have been under the tutorlege
of Mary King the past year and I can really tell. This is their first ever public performance. They are professional to the end. And their complex harmony feels like it is bouncing off the gathering clouds. The audience, clients of Futurecity, Arts people, financiers and PR sense stress dissapear under the arresting power of song. It is the perfect start to the evening. I then direct the audience into the arts gallery where Luke Wright and David J are stood in different corners upon small plinths. I ask the audience to stand as the two poets like boxers in opposing corners of the gallery deliver their potent poetry.
The end piece is the poem of mine The Gilt of Cain, read in public for the first time. After that, the audience drinks Pimms and the darkness gently encloses the square. It was a true success of an evening and there was alot riding on it. I peel off with Lisa to the Pizza Express next to Millbank. Later this week she will be having dinner with Gerry Adams whom she worked with for two and an half years. As we walk past Parliament towards The South Bank Lisa points to the office where she worked for some years. The Thames, which we were walking down, towards the South Bank is particularly beautiful and particularly entrancing tonight.