DOLPH Project Briefs Artist Simon Callery

DOLPH is a visual arts project based in Streatham Hill, run by two artists, Paul Cole and Natasha Kahn. We put on six exhibitions a year and each show features a single artist. At DOLPH we set the artists a brief. We want them to share the personal stuff that is often only hidden away, and put these thoughts and influences into an exhibition. How the artist does this is up to them, and as previous artists have shown, the exhibition can take on any form.
In May, the painter Simon Callery will answer the brief. He will use the space as a studio from which to make new paintings based on the local area of Streatham. Callery sees the DOLPH project as an opportunity to make work that shows all evidence of the making process, with every decision and action laid bare on the surface. Although his work exists within a broad context of British landscape painting, he wants to use the project to challenge established conventions, and create work that reveals the underlying concerns of his working practice. His recent Flat Paintings series were based on an archeological excavation site in North Wales. Here in Streatham, he will work in new ways to confront the urban environment, as a subject for contemporary painting.

Callery proposes to make large-scale paintings, partly in the DOLPH space and partly in the surrounding area. The artist will walk the streets and open spaces of Streatham accompanied by a 50-m roll of canvas on which he will record his response, marking, puncturing, piercing and staining the canvas so it becomes imprinted with its environment. Inside the studio he will wash, colour, cut, sew, stitch, attach and form the lengths into paintings. The direction they will take, in terms of form, colour and mark will be defined by the character of the area and create a visual record of the landscape. The DOLPH space will be part studio and part exhibition space, open to the public both during the making and after completion of the work, and visitors are invited to witness and engage with the entire process.

During this month-long residency Callery will be assisted by Fine Art students from UAL Wimbledon. He also wants to talk to local residents, members of the Streatham Society and anyone with knowledge of the geography, history, geology and archaeology of the area in order to research the project.

A series of talks at the venue will accompany the project, and the project will be filmed and photographed, culminating with a Private View and Artist’s Talk on the 25 May. The finished works will also be on display during the Streatham Festival in July at a local venue to be confirmed. Visit our website www.dolphprojects for more information and to see images from past shows.
Simon Callery has shown widely in the UK and internationally. His work is in public collections including Arts Council England, British Museum and Tate.
To see more of Simon Callery’s work please visit

If anyone has any local information or could spare some time to talk to Simon, then please get in touch on [email protected]. The studio will be open by appointment from 16 May, follow us on twitter @dolphprojects for daily updates.

Simon Callery at DOLPH:
Artist’s Talk and Private View: Wednesday 25 May 5-9pm
Show runs 26-29 May, open Thursday-Sunday 11am-5pm

ASC Studios, 47c Streatham Hill, London, SW2 4TT
[email protected]