O n  B i g  D r a w i n g s

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Since the inception of a Cabot institute residency in Spring 2012 Neville Gabie’s work has developed into two distinct but overlapping areas. Independently he has been developing a body of studio based films which consider three materials, oil, chalk and glacier ice.

With a background in sculpture, Neville Gabie’s practice has always been driven by working in response to specific locations or situations caught in a moment of change. Highly urbanized or distantly remote, his work is a response to the vulnerability of place. Gabie’s interest is in establishing a working relationship within a particular community as a means of considering its physical, cultural or emotional geography.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa – MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London 1986/88

During the time when Bristol University was first establishing the Cabot Institute Neville Gabie was invited to spend one year as their artist in residence. Funded by The Leverhulme Trust, it was a perfect opportunity to be part of an exciting new group of  scientists and academics working together researching all aspects of climate change. With the broad range of research undertaken from the physical to the social and political potential impact of climate change, Neville began with the concept of ‘the common room’. A conceptual space or place where everyone could bring something to the table from their own specific area of interest. Something which was the gravitational centre of their research, which could range from an object to a concept, equation, image.

Since the inception of the residency in Spring 2012 Neville Gabie’s work has developed into two distinct but overlapping areas. Independently he has been developing a body of studio based films which consider three materials, oil, chalk and glacier ice. Collaboratively working with the Social Geographer Merle Patchett and as a direct result of ‘the common room’ they have been developing ‘Archiving Oil’. An ongoing project evaluating the diverse range of responses to our dependence on an oil based economy. Aspects of this work have been shown within the context of the university with the intention of developing the project within a wider context

EXPERIMENTS – Neville Gabie

Experiments in Black and White is an ongoing series of works by Neville Gabie, seeking to explore the qualities and implications of four materials, Crude Oil, Chalk, Ice and Air.

The body of work developed out of a Leverhulme Funded residency with the Cabot Institute, a climate change research group within Bristol University. During the course of the year Neville spent considerable time talking to and observing the work of climate modellers, chemists and socials geographers and from that experience developed his own ‘set of experiments’. Cutting, splitting, pouring, dragging, drawing, melting, became his means of gaining a physical understanding of materiality. How many of us for example have seen, touched or smelt Crude oil, although its impact is ubiquitous, influencing every aspect of our lives?

This particular work, Experiments in Black and White VII evolved as a direct result of Neville observing the work of mathematicians in Bristol University. On entering the building he was surprised to see old fashioned blackboards lining the corridors, common rooms, offices and lecture theatres, many with the partly obliterated ‘workings out’ of formula or equations in a language that was simply impenetrable to him. Observing one professor at work, Neville was struck by the intensity and physicality of the activity as he moved between three blackboards, writing, rubbing out and reworking a concept. Here was a mathematician trying to write an equation to ‘measure and define infinity’ using calcified organic remains many millions of years old, chalk; complex ideas that were soon little more than dust on the floor.

In discussing with the professor why chalk ( rather than whiteboards, pen and paper, or computers) are still favoured he was told, ‘It is something to do with the relationship between the speed of thought and the time it takes to physically write that out that is critical’.

Although this particular work is studio based, much of Neville Gabie’ practice is developed in response to contexts outside of the studio. The cultural, physical and political context of a situation or landscape is as much a part of the work as the material itself.


Toadsmoor Mill, Brimscombe, Stroud, GL5 2UH, England

Tel 01453 882441 Mob 07876 597955 neville@nevillegabie.com www.nevillegabie.com


Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1959.



1986 - 1988 ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART, London MA Sculpture

1988 – 1989 CHELTENHAM COLLEGE OF ART Post Graduate Fellowship





2003- STROUD VALLEYS ARTSPACE – Trustee [Chair]


2012/ 2014 MAP PROJECTS – ongoing project based in Richmond, Northern Cape, South Africa.

2012 / 2013 CABOT INSTITUTE BRISTOL UNIVERSITY – Leverhulme funded residency working with a

multi-disciplinary approach to climate change research


An eighteen month residency in response to the whole site during construction.

Commissioned by the Olympic Delivery Authority, Arts and Culture Team.


publication Great Lengths 2012 – Published Cornerhouse ISBN 978-009569571-4-6

edited Simon Grennan 2012

2008/09 BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY – Halley Research Station Antarctica. Selected as part of

the artists and writers programme. A four month residency. Funded ACE, BAS

Blog www.oneminuteweek.tumblr.com

2006/07 IASKA [International Art Space Kellerberrin Western Australia Three month residency and

exhibition funded by ACE International IASKA, Stour Valley Arts. www.iaska.com.au

  • VITAMINCREATIVE SPACE Gaungzhou, China. Four months residency programme.

Artists Links British Council/Arts Council

1999/2000 MOMART Artist in Residence Tate Gallery, Liverpool


2014 WOMAD – Experiments in Black and White includes the screening of existing films and a

new commissioned work specifically for WOMAD 2014. Curated by Jeni Walwin, Tammy


2012 / 2014 AFLOAT – 27 minute film which follows the building of a St Ayles skiff by the community of

the remote West Highland community of Achiltibuie. Commissioned by IOATA, the film is

due to be screened at venues in Scotland, England and Ireland during 2014.

2011/12 ORCHARD – Nottingham – commissioned the Contemporary Arts Society, Nottingham City

Council, project managed Jennie Syson.

2010 TATTON PARK BIENNIAL – Manchester – the project involved collecting an iceberg

from Greenland to install in the gardens at Tatton using solar power to keep it frozen.

Developed in collaboration with Southampton University

www.tattonparkbiennial.org Danielle Arnaud – Jordan Kaplan Parabola Arts

2006 / 2009 CABOT CIRCUS – Bristol

Appointed as Artist in residence by Bristol Alliance for a three years during a mayor city

centre redevelopment with access to the whole site. In addition to developing three specific

projects Neville Gabie made a funding application to ACE to fund temporary projects by

seven other artists on site. Project managed, Sam Wilkinson, InSite Arts


Publications Cabot Circus Cantata ISBN 978-0-9547300-5-5

Canteen- ISBN 978-0-9547300-8-6

BS1- ISBN 978-0-954730-0-93

The Promised Land- ISBN 978-0-9561407-0-8

2008 ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS - Toronto, Canada – Commissioned Sculpture

2005/6 DAS GROSSE RASENSTUECK - Nuremburg Germany. Thirty-six billboard images over

three months. Curated Raimar Stange Florian Waldvogel

2005/6 OUTFIELD Photographic project commissioned by Art Review [see Feb 06 edition] and

NGO Right to Play, working in Afghan Refugee camps inside Pakistan. Photographs

exhibited in Turin during the winter Olympics

2004/5 NAVIGATING HISTORY Project based at the East Sussex Archive Commissioned

by Probiscus and Deborah Smith

Publication 10/9 includes a commissioned poem by Ros Barber ISBN 978-0-9556168-0-8

2003/05 COAST commissioned by First-site Gallery Commissions East, Essex County Council,

working in response to Foulness MOD site.

Publication ISBN 0-948252-21-9

2000/07 UP IN THE AIR- Liverpool a project initiated by Neville Gabie whilst Artist in Residence a the

Tate Gallery, Liverpool and jointly developed with Leo Fitzmaurice and Kelly Large. The

project involved ten artists living and working in a part occupied but condemned tower block

in North Liverpool over a six-week period prior to its demolition.

2002/03 FURTHER Up in the Air, developed out of Up in the Air and co-curated by Leo Fitzmaurice

and Neville Gabie. FURTHER involved 18 artists/writers working in response to the last

tower block on the estate over a two year period. Funded LHAT, ACE Capital

of Culture.

Publication Further Up in the Air ISBN 0-9545778-0-9

2004 FURTHERMORE… co-curated by Leo Fitzmaurice Neville Gabie.

Publication ISBN 9-780954-577810

2005/07 SHRINKING CITIES, Kunst Werke, Berlin and an International touring programme. The

Up in the Air project archive included in a project developed by Philip Oswalt

Publication Shrinking Cities ISBN 10-3-7757-1711-1

2000/01 TROPHY ROOM- AYRESOME PARK, Middlesbrough A project to ‘mark’ the former

Premiership football ground, now a Wimpy Homes housing estate.

Curated Judith Winter Cleveland Arts

2000 UNDERNEATH- FOREST OF DEAN lead artist www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk

  • POSTS Photographs of informal goalposts found around the world.

Published Penguin Books. ISBN 0-140-28119-3

2006 Republished as TORE by Sanssouci, Germany ISBN 10-3-7264-1401-7


2014 PLAYING AWAY – MAP Projects Pretoria

2014 LONDON ARTS FAIR – Danielle Arnaud Gallery

2013 / 14 JERWOOD DRAWING PRIZE Prize Winner – Touring Exhibition

2013 ARCHIVING OIL – Bristol University

20013 THE GREATEST DISTANCE Danielle Arnaud Gallery – solo exhibition

2012 EMAILING ANTARCTICA – Cheltenham Museum Art Gallery – new commissioned work

2012 / 15 LANDSCAPES OF EXPLORATION – Plymouth Gallery/ Scott Polar Institute, Cambridge /

Bournmouth Gallery

publication Landscapes of Exploration – edited Liz Wells, ISBN9781841023014

2012 GOOD SPORT - New Art Gallery Walsall

2009 ROUGH CUTS – Gooden Gallery, London solo exhibition

2009 PROMISED LAND – Architecture Centre, Bristol. Solo exhibition

2009 CITY AS GYMNASIUM – Cube, Manchester.


Publication Art Across the City ISBN978-0-9545391-2-3,

2009 WIDE EYED AND LEGLESS – Canterbury Museum and Art Gallery solo exhibition

Publication ISBN 978-0-9581824-2-3

2008 SPACE TO DRAW – Jerwood Space London. curated Helen Waters and Paul Thomas.


Tate Gallery Liverpool.

2004/07 PLAYING AWAY UK – touring solo exhibition with Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Wales

Publication ISBN 9-780906-860557

2006/07 LIVING HISTORY – Tate Modern, London. Work from the Tate Gallery collection

2004 IN SIGHT- Bloomberg Gallery, London

2004 INTER – Harris Gallery, Preston site specific temporary commission for Preston Bus Station.

  • TRIANGULAR TRADING -Vardy Gallery, Sunderland. Solo exhibition

Publication ISBN 1-873757-99-9


2002/04 DREAMS AND GOALS – British Council Touring exhibition, Japan, South Korea, Macedonia,

Portugal. Two person exhibition.

  • NEW WORK - Hales Gallery, London – solo exhibition


2014 / 2018 CAMBRIDGE COMMUNITY COLLECTION - A new commission by Cambridge City Council

which involves the planting of every variety of UK Apple Trees. Some 1200 different varieties

will be planted alphabetically as a linear Apple archive, stretching from the City Centre to its

Southern boundary. www.cambridgecommunitycollection.co.uk

2014 WOMAD – Collective Breath, is a specially commissioned new work by Neville Gabie,

commissioned by Jeni Walwin, Tammy Bedford

2012/14 AFLOAT – commissioned by IOTA, Film screenings for 2014 in Achilitubie, Findhorn, Orkney,

Kinsale Arts Festibval Ireland, Up Projects London.

C O L L E C T I O N S Include; The Arts Council Collection The Tate Gallery Collection


Sam Wilkinson – Insite Arts 300, Burdett Road, London E14 7DQ

Email; sam@insitearts.com

[I worked with Sam whilst Artist in Residence at Cabot Circus, Bristol 2006/09 and whilst artist in residence at the Olympic Park 2010/2012 ]

Danielle Arnaud – Danielle Arnaud Gallery 123 Kenningto Road, London SE11 6SF

Email; danielle@daniellearnaudgallery.com

[Commissioned my work for Tatton Park Biennial 2010 and solo Exhibition at the gallery in 2013]

Jeni Walwin – Independent Curator

Email; jeni@walwin.co.uk

[Currently working with Jeni – the curator for WOMAD]