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  • Big Screen Commission
    Benedict Drew
    'Public Address'
  • 26 July to 20 September 2014
  • Elmer Square, Southend-on-Sea
For the fifth Focal Point Gallery commission for the Big Screen in Elmer Square, British artist Benedict Drew has been invited to make a new video work specifically for the screen.

Public Address investigates the role of the screen in the dissemination of instructional public messages. Based on the north Kent coast, Drew is interested in the relationship between the two counties and the role the Estuary has played in shaping the Ecology of the area. Like many of the regions skirting the periphery of London, the Essex landscape has been defined by heavy industrial and shipping activities, and is readily sited as locations for large-scale landfill and recycling projects, primarily to serve the needs of London boroughs.

Drew presents a rhythmically disjointed public film, in which visual imagery from some of these sites are used to present the visceral process involved in dealing with society’s excess and mounting waste. In this new world a figure attempts to address the public, whilst the subliminal voice of consumerism interjects over imagery of lifeless
mud covered landscapes and iconic statements derived from local authority aspirational slogans.

Footage has been taken in local areas including the former landfill site on Two-Tree Island, as well as waste management sites in Basildon and Southend. Drew’s work presents familiar imagery that appear warped by technological process, leaving a world where image, sound and reality are no longer indistinguishable.

Video features musician Paul Abbott

Courtesy the artist, Matt’s Gallery and Focal Point Gallery

Public Address (duration 10 minutes) will be screened daily until 20 September 2014, between 8am – 10am, 12pm – 2pm and 4pm – 6pm.

The commission will launch with an event at the gallery on Saturday 26 July, 6.00pm to 8.00pm.
About the artist:

Benedict Drew (b.1977) lives and works in Whitstable, Kent. Recent solo exhibitions include Campus Gallery School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury, New Zealand (2014); Matt’s Gallery, London (2014), Rhubarba, Edinburgh (2013); Whitstable Biennale (2012); Outpost, Norwich (2012); Cell Project Space (2012); Zabludowicz Collection (2012, Circa Site / AV Festival, Newcastle upon Tyne (2012). Benedict Drew is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London.