4 July 2019 – Founded in 1901 to bring great art to the people of East London, Whitechapel Gallery is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally. This summer the Gallery celebrates its East London roots, presenting cutting-edge contemporary art around the vibrant East End. Nocturnal Creatures is a free annual late-night festival inviting everyone to explore a host of extraordinary local spaces transformed by leading international artists. Curated by the Gallery’s experts and in association with Sculpture and the City, a diverse group of exciting artists show new commissions, live performance, music, film, food experiences, multimedia artwork and participatory projects.

The full line-up ranges from Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost’s (b. 1978) opera singing performer taking up residence at an iconic East End boozer to internationally renowned artist Michael Rakowitz (b. 1973) staging a food intervention in the Whitechapel Gallery Refectory. A Tabita Rezaire (b. 1989) film screens in a masonic temple and an Emma Smith (b. 1981) sound work premieres in the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. There is a new performance work from artist and composer Elaine Mitchener and a feminist pub takeover from Ruth Ewan (b. 1980). Expect live performance by Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom (b. 1984), film by Abigail Reynolds, and painted installation by Navine G. Khan-Dossos (b. 1982) located in unique East End venues including the Wash Houses at London Metropolitan University, Toynbee Hall and White Chapel Building, and Leadenhall Market. Associate programme partner Sculpture in the City have commissioned two new works from Graeme Miller (b. 1960) and Guillaume Vandame (b. 1991) and will also host a series of tours, talks and performances by Sculpture in the City artists including Reza Aramesh
(b. 1970), Shaun C Badham (b. 1990), Marisa Ferreira (b. 1983), Leo Fitzmaurice (b. 1963), Clare Jarrett and Nina Saunders (b. 1950).

New participatory performance and sound installation from Emma Smith at Whitechapel Bell Foundry  

Artist Emma Smith invites audiences of all ages to turn Brick Lane into a large-scale water clock – a timepiece that measures time through the regulated flow of liquid from one place to another. The piece culminates in an immersive sound installation at the historic Grade II* listed Whitechapel Bell Foundry. In homage to the Foundry’s extraordinary history and legacy, the artist brings together the sounds of bells from around the world. In a newly-composed score, Smith allows recordings of the Foundry’s bells made across its 447 year history to ring out together.

Laure Prouvost’s operatic ‘it’s a tragedy’ brings to life snippets of overheard conversations at the Golden Heart Pub

Throughout the evening, an opera singer spontaneously performs live, repeating overheard fragments of personal conversations at The Golden Heart pub. First presented at Frieze Art Fair in 2018, where audiences were treated to choral renditions of phrases such as ‘Have you watched Bake-Off?’ this performance work can be heard throughout Nocturnal Creatures in the iconic pub, famous for its East End artist patrons.

Elaine Mitchener presents a new performance in conversation with Helen Cammock’s Che si può fare

In dialogue with Max Mara Art Prize winner Helen Cammock’s (b. 1970) film Che si può fare (What can be done), which is on display at the Gallery until 1st September 2019, artist and composer Elaine Mitchener takes In Darkness Let Me Dwell (1610) by lutenist and composer John Dowland as a starting point. Mitchener traces the key theme of women’s lament in Cammock’s work across genres, combining live solo and pre-recorded multiple voices.

Michael Rakowitz invites guests to enjoy a novel culinary experience

Internationally renowned Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz , whose debut UK survey is on display at Whitechapel Gallery until 25th August, shares culinary delights from his recently published cookbook, A House With A Date Palm Will Never Starve (2019) in the Whitechapel Gallery Refectory.

A  specially-commissioned installation and sound performance by Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom transforms the entrance to the White Chapel Building

In a new commission, multimedia artist Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom presents a live improvised electronic music performance for the duration of the evening. This new musical score will accompany a sculptural installation of images of African-American Jazz dancer Clarence “Scoby” Stroman performing the move ‘taking flight’.

Film installation from Tabita Rezaire takes over the Masonic Lodge at the Andaz Hotel

The dynamic video Peaceful Warrior (2015) by video artist Tabita Rezaire forms an immersive installation, weaving together the themes of race, gender and the legacies of colonialism within the context of a masonic temple. Audiences enter the surreal and unique Grade II listed Masonic temple situated within the hotel. It dates from 1912 and was only rediscovered during recent renovations on the building, having previously been concealed behind a wall.

New mural from Navine G. Khan-Dossos meets Toynbee Hall

Designs produced locally for The Prevent Strategy, part of the British Government’s counter-terrorism policy, were the starting point for a series of abstract paintings from British visual artist Navine G. Khan-Dossos whose work explores aniconic imagery in the digital realm. Khan-Dossos investigated visual branding strategies used by Prevent, and the role its symbolic representation plays in British society today. Also on display is a logo produced by the artist in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery’s Youth Forum Duchamp & Sons.

Abigail Reynolds presents Lost Libraries in the Wash Houses at London Metropolitan University

Drawing directly on the relationship between a space and its history here in the former home of The Women’s Library, British artist Abigail Reynolds presents Lost Libraries. This multimedia installation documents the artist’s solitary journey to sites of former libraries along the Silk Road, an ancient network of trade routes which connected East Asia and Southeast Asia with other parts of the world. Each space tells a story of libraries lost to political conflict, natural catastrophe, revolution, and war, as told through this split screen meditation.

Interventions from Ruth Ewan located The Bell and Golden Heart pubs, East London

600 songs with a feminist agenda are collated in Scottish artist Ruth Ewan’s work  A Feminist Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World, 2018, available to play in The Bell pub for one night only. In both The Bell and the Golden Heart, in collaboration with a traditional artisan sign writer, Ewan also presents new ornate pub-style mirrors  that feature the words of feminist icons Sylvia Pankhurst and Mary Wollstonecraft alongside specially-designed beer mats.

Sculpture in the City will once again be the associate programme partner for the second edition of Nocturnal Creatures. Sculpture in the City is the City of London’s annual public art programme set amongst iconic architectural landmarks and returns this year for its ninth edition with 19 artworks making up the outdoor sculpture park in the Square Mile, to include a new artwork by Jonathan Trayte (b. 1980) to be unveiled in autumn 2019.

Sculpture in the City host live events and participatory performances by artists including Guillaume Vandame, Graeme Miller,  Reza Aramesh, Shaun C Badham, Marisa Ferreira, Leo Fitzmaurice, Clare Jarrett and Nina Saunders.

Notice Me (LGBTQIA+ Walk) is a participatory artwork led by Guillaume Vandame: LGBTQIA+ individuals of all ages and backgrounds, plus supporters of the community, are invited to dress in one of the seven colours associated with the LGBTQIA+ community (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink) for a walk exploring the Sculpture in the City area, highlighting the diversity of sculptures on display along the way.

Graeme Miller’s On Air (2012) is a broadcast work staged between an aerial vantage point and an audience at ground level. Throughout the evening, visitors to St. Botolph’s Without Aldgate will hear a description of the landscape from commentators situated up high in an unscripted, witty and unique response to their location.

Artist Leo Fitzmaurice will host a walk’n’talk with Phaidon’s Rebecca Morrill, inviting visitors to stroll the City streets, whilst Shaun C Badham’s The Will to Proceed is a participatory tour asking visitors to select their route. Clare Jarrett’s performance The Fabric evokes the mundanity of daily tasks experienced by many women around the world, whilst Nina Saunders and Reza Aramesh have each created new site-specific performances responding to City locations. Artists Marisa Ferreira and Richard Wentworth will be in conversation, reflecting on how we remember our cities through their buildings. Further thematic tours of the ninth edition of Sculpture in the City will depart from Leadenhall Market including ‘Where Art Meets Architecture’ led by David Rosenberg of Velorose. Acclaimed street photographer Nick Turpin will document the evening and judge an Instagram-based street photography competition.

Musicity x Sculpture in the City is a project designed to enliven local sites with sound by linking architecture with music. Once again it will be live during the evening with a Silent Disco evening at Leadenhall Market, headlined by Mixmaster Morris. Midori Komachi will perform a solo violin programme including her Musicity x Sculpture in the City site-specific composition Full as Deep at Undershaft.

Affiliate Programme of galleries open late into the night across the East End

Local galleries will open their doors to late night visitors as part of the official affiliate programme. Galleries include Leyden Gallery, Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix, StolenSpace Gallery, 5th Base Gallery, Gallery S O, and PEER.

For one night only, Nocturnal Creatures represents an exciting opportunity to discover extraordinary works of art in unusual locations throughout the East End.

All events are free to attend and open to all.

Notes to Editors

Associate Programme Partner
Sculpture in the City

Venue Sponsor
Derwent London

Media Partner
Time Out

Arts Council England

Brick Lane Regeneration Partnership
The Aldgate Partnership


Whitechapel Gallery: For over a century the Whitechapel Gallery has premiered world class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Mark Wallinger. With beautiful galleries, exhibitions, artist commissions, collection displays, historic archives, education resources, inspiring art courses, dining room and bookshop, the Gallery is open all year round, so there is always something free to see. It is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter.

Sculpture in the City: is a unique collaboration between the City of London Corporation (the elected body which looks after the Square Mile global business district), local businesses, and the art world, providing the opportunity for new audiences to engage with established and emerging contemporary artists. The initiative is delivered through a partnership between the City of London Corporation in partnership with Aon, Aviva, Beaumont, Bloomberg, British Land, Brookfield Properties, CC Land, Hiscox, London & Oriental, Nuveen Real Estate, Tenacity, Tower 42 and TwentyTwo. Participating artists for the ninth edition of Sculpture in the City are: Salvatore Arancio, Reza Aramesh, Elisa Artesero, Shaun C Badham, Jyll Bradley, Nathan Coley, Marisa Ferreira, Leo Fitzmaurice, Kevin Francis Gray, Clare Jarrett, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Michael Lyons, Nancy Rubins, Nina Saunders, Jennifer Steinkamp, Do Ho Suh, Jonathan Trayte, Patrick Tuttofuoco and Lawrence Weiner.

For more information please visit: www.sculptureinthecity.org.uk

About the White Chapel Building and Derwent London plc: Derwent London is known for its innovative approach to architecture and design. Abundant natural light, volume and high quality detail are found in every one of their projects.  We believe in a building directly responding to its place and we partner with the most talented architects and designers who share our passion. Equally, we believe in making spaces that are sustainable – both to their environments and users. We adopt this ethos and know we have succeeded when we see our tenants happy in their surroundings. Our portfolio is some 5.4 million square feet with a value of around £5.2 billion.  In 2017 Derwent London completed its Phase 1 refurbishment of The White Chapel Building and, at the end of 2018, completed Phase 2 which has been pre-let to Fotografiska for their London Museum of Photography. This will be their first gallery outside Stockholm and will add another important cultural venue to the Whitechapel area.

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For more information, interviews and images, contact:

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