WE CAME HERE
8th September – 18th December 2022
Open: Wednesday–Saturday, 12-6pm
Van Gogh House presents We Came Here, a sound and sculptural installation work by artist Harold Offeh that draws on ideas of migration, place and lived history.
We Came Here will manifest as a conversation across a century; between 20-year old Vincent Van Gogh who in 1873 had just arrived in Stockwell; and 20-year old Olive Morris, a Jamaican-born, Brixton-based community leader, who in 1972 was campaigning for feminist, black and squatters’ rights. The imagined dialogue between artist and activist will explore their shared and divergent experiences of London, social justice and the development of personal and socio-political consciousness. In other audio testimonies drawn from historic archives, more young migrants to Brixton and Lambeth will tell their stories.
Exploring the life of the twenty-year old Vincent Van Gogh during his tenure at Hackford Road, Offeh became intrigued by the idea of the artist as a ‘migrant’ in London. During a three-month residency at Van Gogh House in 2021, Offeh investigated Lambeth Archives, Black Cultural Archives and other historical sources researching the history of immigration to Stockwell and Brixton since Van Gogh left London over a century ago. We Came Here builds on these stories and narratives, mapping on the perspectives of young migrants arriving in contemporary London, to build an idiosyncratic collection of accounts across generations.
Harold Offeh is an artist working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. Offeh is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of histories. He employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture.
He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally including Tate Britain and Tate Modern, South London Gallery, Turf Projects, London, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, Wysing Art Centre, Studio Museum Harlem, New York, MAC VAL, France, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark and Art Tower Mito, Japan. He studied Critical Fine Art Practice at The University of Brighton, MA Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art and recently completed a PhD by practice exploring the activation of Black Album covers through durational performance. He lives in Cambridge and works in London, UK. He is currently a tutor in MA Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art.
We would like to thank the Art Fund for awarding us a Student Opportunities Grant, which supports this exhibition.