Throughout 2018, artist Rory Pilgrim is developing an ambitious new commission titled The Resounding Bell, a seven-part film series and live performance produced with a Council of women aged 22 – 94, who live and work locally, and a group of young women from Harris Girls Academy, East Dulwich.
The Resounding Bell will culminate with the launch of a filmed web series and a final episode which will be broadcast live between the South London Gallery and the surrounding neighbourhood, coinciding with the launch of the SLG’s new Fire Station annexe in September 2018. Existing in a time increasingly archived through live streams, news feeds and vlogs, The Resounding Bell explores how we might re-tell and re-sound less-documented stories from the past that are in danger of being left silent for generations to come.
Rory Pilgrim’s commission draws inspiration from the practice of Seventh Generational Stewardship, in which a community makes decisions in acknowledgement of their impact for seven generations, or 140 years, to come. The Resounding Bell asks how we can come together from different generations to understand what from our histories must never be repeated, what is left urgently unknown and what is at risk of being erased.
The Council, an intergenerational collective of seven women with wide-ranging connections to Peckham and Camberwell, met through a series of workshops to explore stories of care, community, migration, technology and war; to ask questions of the past and to propose questions for the future.
The Resounding Bell continues with a group of young women from Harris Girls Academy East Dulwich, to collectively re-interpret and re-stage the stories developed by the Council for a series of seven filmed episodes. Broadcast online throughout September, the short, interwoven episodes will punctuate moments in time, echoing shared histories, memories and experiences.
A dialogue will emerge between the Council and the group of young women from Harris Girls Academy that re-visits the historic function of the Old Peckham Road Fire Station – which existed as a functioning Fire Station between 1867 and 1925 – as a site of call and response in times of crisis.
The final episode will be performed and live broadcast as part of the opening of the South London Gallery’s Fire Station annexe in autumn 2018. Inviting a live audience to the Fire Station, the finale will ask how we might come together from behind our screens to re-call, re-stage and re-sound the past, to take action for our collective future.
Restored as a space for community, action, and care – the Fire Station’s bell will symbolically resound once more.
The Resounding Bell Council is: Celia (Sister) Thomas, Winnie Salisbury, Linda Allen, Lily Reddie, Marlen Cabezas, Louise Hart and Jana Dahlawi. With special thanks to Heather Osborne and Year 10 drama students from Harris Girls Academy, East Dulwich.
Rory Pilgrim and the South London Gallery would like to acknowledge the Native American confederacy of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people, who originated Seventh Generational Stewardship, as set out in the Great Binding Law of the Iroquois Nation.
The Resounding Bell has been commissioned through the South London Gallery’s critical heritage programme, Evidence of Us. Through long-term intergenerational projects, Evidence of Us seeks to position people as experts in their own heritage by foregrounding local knowledge and supporting otherwise under-explored histories to come to the surface.
The Resounding Bell is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Rory Pilgrim (Bristol, 1988). Centred on emancipatory concerns, Pilgrim’s work aims to challenge the very nature of how we come together, speak, listen and strive for social change through sharing and voicing personal experience. Strongly influenced by the origins of activist, feminist and socially engaged art, Pilgrim works collaboratively with others through different methods of dialogue, collaboration and workshops. Creating connections between activism, spirituality, music, technology and community, Rory works in wide range of media including sound, song writing, film and live performance. Pilgrim obtained a BA from Chelsea College of Art, London 2005-2008 and was a participant of the De Ateliers residency programme 2008-2010 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Recent Solo Shows include: Rowing, London (2017), Plymouth Art Centre, Plymouth (2017), Flat Time House, London (2016), Site Gallery, Sheffield (2016), Andriesse-Eyck Gallery, Amsterdam NL (2015) and sic! Raum für Kunst, Luzern CH (2014). Groups shows, performances and screenings include Les Urbaines, Lausanne CH (2017) Block Universe, UK (2017) GAK, Bremen DE (2017), Guangzhou Triennial, CN (2015), Land Art Live, Almere NL (2015), MING Studios, Boise USA (2015), Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht NL (2014) Kunst Werke, Berlin DE (2013) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2012). In 2016 Pilgrim was nominated for the Dolf Henkes Prize in 2016 at TENT, Rotterdam and was the 2014 winner of the CoCA Prize.