Sponsored by Broadgate
In association with Sculpture in the City


23 July 2018

Whitechapel Gallery is delighted to announce that Nocturnal Creatures, its new free annual summer late-night contemporary art festival, took over London’s East End on Saturday 21 July attracting more than 6000 visitors in its first year.

Curated by the Whitechapel Gallery and inspired by the success of late-night cultural initiatives across the UK including the popular Art Night, local cultural and historic venues were transformed by spectacular artworks and performance for one night only.

This free festival was curated by the Whitechapel Gallery and inspired by the success of late-night cultural initiatives across the UK including the popular Art Night. It featured

  • Over 6000 visitors across more than 33 sites.
  • Over 55 artists and performers across the night
  • A digital reach of over 122,000 on the night through Whitechapel Gallery channels
  • New partners including Broadgate, Sculpture and the City, Whitechapel Bell Foundry and White Chapel Building

The Nocturnal Creatures line-up celebrated the Whitechapel Gallery’s East End location and highlighted many artists featured in the Gallery’s triennial summer exhibition The London Open 2018. The festival featured new site-specific commissions responding directly to the area’s fascinating buildings and locations and artworks from major international artists installed across the area.

Highlights from Nocturnal Creatures included an immersive audio-visual environment created by Tom Lock and staged with our headline sponsor, Broadgate in their new events hub 3FA Space. Hundreds of people were attracted to the mesmerizing moving visuals and electronic soundtrack and joined in with the performers animating the space. Rachel Pimm transformed the vacant Whitechapel Bell Foundry. In a rare opportunity to see inside the foundry building, she presented a new performance work meditating on its history and materiality. A parade of plants moved down Brick Lane in Lucia Monge’s Planton Movil and revelers gathered for Larry Achiampong’s beat-driven soundtrack accompanied by Shiraz Bayjoo’s visuals at the White Chapel Building.

The first Nocturnal Creatures festival was held in association with Sculpture in the City, who animated the 18 artworks situated across the nearby area, part of the eighth edition of the programme, with artist tours and talks. The night also saw the premiere of Musicity x Sculpture in the City, with Nocturnal Creatures visitors the first to hear ten new audio tracks in special sites via the Musicity app, as well as live performances by four of the musicians: Midori Komachi, Angèle David-Guillou, SuperCool feat. Fay Cannings and Bambooman. For the festival’s Associate programme, ten galleries in the local area also opened their doors late into the night.

Iwona Blazwick, former Whitechapel Gallery Director, said: “It was exciting to see so many people discovering extraordinary works of art in such unusual locations in the city by night.

Sophie Kenyon, Broadgate’s Head of Events & Communications, said: “We are delighted to have been a part of the inaugural festival and to launch our new events hub, 3FA Space. Art, design and culture are key for Broadgate as London’s largest pedestrianised neighbourhood, and our partnership with Whitechapel Gallery enables us to bring this to life.”

Stella Ioannou, co-director of Sculpture in the City, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Whitechapel Gallery for the inaugural Nocturnal Creatures festival. This new addition to the London art scene reinforces the connection between Sculpture in the City and Whitechapel Gallery; a relationship both geographical and artistic given the organizations close proximity and Iwona Blazwick’s role as a member of Sculpture in the City’s Arts Advisory Group.  The evening was a unique opportunity to combine both architecture and sound, adding another layer to the experience of the City.

Press Information

For more information, interviews and images, contact:

Lucy Hawes, Senior Media Relations Manager

T +44 (0)20 7522 7871 | E lucyhawes@whitechapelgallery.org

Notes to Editors

  • The London Open: The London Open 2018 brings together the most dynamic and critical contemporary art being made in the capital today. The latest edition of this triennial summer exhibition offers a free, lively space to discover new work and reflect on a time of significant change in this global city. The exhibition features a diverse selection of 22 artists working in London and engaging with topical concerns; from the rapidly changing urban context, the environment, technology, gender and race to queer representation, human relations, activism and post-colonial histories. Many work in unprecedented ways and across different artistic forms, ranging from painting, video and sound to installation, sculpture, performance and work online.


  • 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.


  • About Broadgate: Broadgate is where innovation and finance play. It is the largest pedestrianised neighbourhood in Central London: a diverse community connecting innovation and finance, and a public arena for new food, retail and culture. Lying adjacent to the busy transport hub of Liverpool Street station and surrounded by Shoreditch, Spitalfields, Old Street and the City, Broadgate connects Europe’s capitals of investment and technology. Joint owners British Land and GIC are investing £1.5 billion in Broadgate’s evolution into a world class, mixed use destination for London. Their masterplan for Broadgate will deliver 4.9 million sq ft of new and redefined workplaces, retail and restaurants, bringing people together to work, shop, drink and dine. Broadgate’s rare collection of public spaces combines the community and feel of the historic piazza with the energy of modern London. These spaces play host to over 100 cultural events annually, providing a showcase for emerging ideas and talent.


  • Sculpture in the City: 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, Blackstone, Bloomberg, British Land, Twenty Two, Brookfield, CC Land, Generali Real Estate, Hiscox, TH Real Estate and Tower 42. The project is also supported by the City of London Corporation’s Women: Work & Power Project Patrons include: Ascend, JSRE 30 St Mary Axe Ltd Leadenhall Market, Make, MTEC, PLP/Architecture and Price & Myers. With thanks to participating artists and galleries: Amanda Lwin, Blain Southern, Clare Jarrett, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Galerie Fons Welters, Gagosian, Hales Gallery, Jyll Bradley, l’etrangere, Lisson Gallery, Richard Rome, Sadie Coles, Shaun C Badham, Sprüth Magers, T J Boulting, Thomas Dane Gallery, Waddington Custot and White Cube. For more information please visit: www.sculptureinthecity.org.uk


  • Sculpture in the City x Musicity: Supported by Brookfield, Musicity is a web app that provides a new way of seeing and hearing the city where you can experience architecture-inspired music and sound art in the very place that sparked its creation. Musicity invites musicians and recording artists to compose tracks for buildings in cities around the world and will be delivering 9 new tracks as part of this unique collaboration.


  • About 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 5.5 million square feet with a value of around £4.9 billion. In 2017 Derwent London completed its Phase 1 refurbishment of The White Chapel Building and, at the end of 2018, will complete 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.


  • About Whitechapel Bell Foundry: Raycliff, the owner of the former Bell Foundry buildings, is working with a heritage-led design team to deliver an exciting new and sustainable future for the site which celebrates and retains the architectural and historical significance of the Grade II* listed foundry building on the Whitechapel Road. Operating on this site since the 1740s, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry was responsible for the creation of some of the world’s most famous bells, including Big Ben and the original Liberty Bell. The Westley Group, based in Stoke on Trent, continues the manufacture of tower bells under licence and Bells Of Whitechapel Ltd continues the production and maintenance of musical handbells and small bells. The archives are being conserved at the London Metropolitan Archives to allow public access to the collection at the expense of Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd. Most of the skilled employees formerly employed at Whitechapel are re-employed within the industry. John Taylor & Company, based in Loughborough, continue to cast new tower bells. Visit www.thebellfoundry.co.uk for more information on Raycliff’s proposals.


  •  About St George’s German Lutheran Church: The oldest surviving German church in the country opened in 1763 and has a rare, mostly original Georgian interior and a colourful social history, particularly in the 1930s, when the Pastor was actively helping people fleeing persecution in Germany. The church is owned by the Historic Chapels Trust and events are organised by the Friends of St George’s German Lutheran Church, a volunteer support group.


  • Additional partners and supporters include: Brick Lane Regeneration Partnership, K2 Screen Ltd, Michael Werner Gallery, School of Horticulture and Landscaping – Capel Manor College and Time Out.


Visitor Information

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm; Thursdays, 11am – 9pm

Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX

Nearest London Underground Stations: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway DLR

T + 44 (0) 20 7522 7888 | E info@whitechapelgallery.org | W whitechapelgallery.org

Press Release

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Colette Downing
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