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O Complex Mass. A Concrete Liturgy for Dilston Grove. Dilston Gallery, 23 October 2022

Workshop Programme

1023 Oct 2022
AAD LondonMet + Dilston Grove
With Melanie Pappenheim



Sunday 23 Oct 2022
12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 4pm
Dilston Gallery, Southwark Park


O Complex Mass is a new work by artist John Lawrence that asks how a building might dream about itself: its own purpose, history, materiality and meaning.

Developed for and about Dilston Gallery over an extended period of site-responsive research, O Complex Mass evolved through a process John Lawrence describes as ‘spatial writing,‘ alluding to both spatial music and site-writing practices. Lawrence’s research and writing is brought to life in a choral dramaturgy based on a graphic score by composer Stephen Crowe, interpreted and transposed into a performance by Musarc.

Proposed as a form of ‘concrete liturgy’ for Dilston and its extended community, O Complex Mass explores the overlapping histories of this unique building, emphasising and sharing its rare qualities with an aim to give audiences a heightened experience of the space itself.

O Complex Mass – Stephen Crowe’s graphic score based on John Lawrence’s libretto. Performance notes and development by Musarc, October 2022

About Dilston Grove

Clare College Mission Church, better known as ‘Dilston Grove’, is the first in-situ poured concrete building in the UK. Designed by architects Sir John Simpson and Maxwell Ayrton, the Grade-II listed church was built at speed in 1911 using what was then a nascent technology, to serve a ‘spiritually destitute district’. On completion, Dilston Grove was described as being the finest modern church in South London and for years the building ‘flourished … hosting dances, plays, local sports teams and socials.’ After the war, the church fell into disrepair, until a group of artists occupied the space as a studio, reenergising the building and starting it on its path to having the second life we know it for today – a home of ambitious, experimental artworks and projects.

_JK_3656_20221015 Dilston Grove Complex Mass

Musarc rehearsing at Dilston Grove, Saturday 15 October 2022. Photos by Joseph Kohlmaier

Venue and Performance Dates

Sunday 23 October 2022
12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 4pm

Southwark Park Galleries
Dilston Grove, Southwark Park
London SE16 2UA
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A project by John Lawrence for Dilston Gallery. Graphic score by Stephen Crowe. Directors of music: Joseph Kohlmaier and Melanie Pappenheim. With special thanks to Joanna Ward, Dom Thurston, Toby O’Connor and Merceded Vicente ++ members of the ensemble – Jessica Barker-Wren, Ian Blake, Thomas Boudier, Douglas Cape, Ginevra Chelli, Ilenia Cipollari, Sandra Djukic, Rebecca Ferguson, Kirsty Ferguson-Lewis, Emily Foster, Toni Gutman, Lukasz Kopec, Annelie Kops, Carol Mancke, Paul Martin, Sara Mognol, Franklyn Oliver, and Natalie Savva