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Made in White City

East Tower: Meet the Artists

Last month, we posted a call-out for creatives of all sorts and disciplines to occupy empty floors in the former BBC Television Centre; to take inspiration from, alter, and creatively destroy the East Tower prior to its demolition in August. Out of an overwhelming 360 entries, here are the artists we selected.

WORDS - Alice Cicolini
PHOTOS - Nick Ballon & artists

A springboard for the careers of generations of British household names since it opened in the 1960s, the former BBC Television Centre is a catalyst for creativity: from writers, producers and designers, to filmmakers, performers and musicians.

To celebrate this heritage, last month we posted a call-out for artists to take over one of the empty floors of its East Tower, inspiring a group of commissions that will develop over a summer of programming in White City. The residencies mark a moment of transition, as the Tower is demolished in early August for work on the renovation of this iconic site.

Eight new projects have been selected to start in June. Each connected in some way to White City and the local area, to the heritage of the BBC or to the building itself, these residencies support a range of artists from the most established to the emerging, and across a wide range of artforms. The East Tower Residencies will run from 9 June til 31 July 2016, and we'll be hearing more from the artists over the next couple of months so watch this space


Producing evenings of inspiration for some of the world’s leading organisations and most discerning audiences, 5x15 is at the heart of West London’s intelligent entertainment scene. An initiative of Rosie Boycott, Daisy Leitch and Eleanor O’Keeffe, 5x15 has played at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill since its inception with a stimulating cocktail of ideas and good company. This mix will be transported to the East Tower for one night on July 12th, with a line up including Olivia Laing on loneliness and cities, Booker-prize winning author DBC Pierre on how to write, and music from Emmy the Great.

5x15 Emmy the Great

Alan Warburton

Alan Warburton is an artist who works with computer–generated imagery (CGI) and 3D animation software. Alan will completely render the East Tower in CGI, a virtual document or archive of this iconic building, and the starting point for an extraordinary creative journey.

Alan Warburton

Catherine Yass

A crane gracefully lifts a grand piano across the exterior of East Tower, its strings played by the wind. Catherine Yass’s proposal evokes the presence and absence of the building. It builds on a body of work that engages with extraordinary aerial views and daring actions – from Descent, made from the top of a crane in London’s Docklands in 2002, to High Wire, commissioned by Artangel in 2008 and made on the Red Road Estate, Glasgow, a film which charted the progress of a tightrope walker from one tower to another. Catherine has represented the UK at the Indian Triennale and was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2002. Her work features in a number of major important collections worldwide including Tate, London.

Catherine Yass

Hannah Dargavel-Leafe and Jack West 

Sound artist Hannah Dargavel-Leafe was born and grew up in Shepherd’s Bush. She collaborates with Jack West, an artist working in 4D Cinema. Hannah and Jack will identify and document fragments of the building and surrounding area. With Jack’s expertise in CGI imaging and Hannah’s skills in sound mixing and foley, East Tower will be transformed into a digital fantasy world that celebrates BBC programming heritage.

Hannah Dargavel-Leafe Jack West

Hilary Powell 

Hilary Powell is an artist who works in film, live installation and scenography, focusing on participatory practice. Her work focuses on architecture and place, and her film made about and around the Olympic regeneration site lead to three-year residency at the Bartlett. She intends to make a piece with local residents that will celebrate BBC Children’s TV. Witty and surreal, Hilary’s carefully choreographed storytelling will create a new poetry of place and folklore of site.

Hilary Powell

James Rigler

Inspired by the language of architectural ornament, James Rigler’s vibrant ceramic sculptures have attracted international attention. A graduate of the RCA, James has been in residency with the Victoria and Albert Museum, and his work has been collected by the Crafts Council, the V&A and Chatsworth House. James will sample the building to create a collection that will capture a glimpse of the tower’s extraordinary, intimate details, on both a domestic and a monumental scale.

James Rigler ceramics

Resonance FM

Resonance FM, London's groundbreaking arts radio station presents an evening of live radio broadcasts. This special programme has been curated by Ed Baxter, and will be performed live in front of an audience in the Tower. Six distinct elements draw on the history and fabric of Television Centre. The programme features Howlround, Resonance Radio Orchestra, Sam Conran and the 50-50 Sound System (West London Dub). The project is co-funded by PRS for Music Foundation and Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

Resonance FM Ed Baxter

Steffi Klenz

Steffi Klenz will create a Helios-esque installation of mirror-shard fragments circled by the camera, creating a kaleidoscopic effect where reflections and refractions are filmed and everything within the mirrors’ view reflects back to the camera, including fragments of the East Tower and the city beyond. Steffi Klenz is a London-based photographic artist who has shown at the Los Angeles Centre for Digital Art, The Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, New Art Gallery Walsall and Stanley Picker Gallery, London.

Steffi Klenz

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