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The Occupants at the Stanley Picker Gallery

By River Reporter Oct 8, 2012

The River checked out the new gallery on display at the Stanley Picker Gallery, The Occupants.

Monicha Tully

The sky is covered with a blanket of thick grey clouds and the road leading up to The Stanley Picker Gallery is awash with students running to and from Kingston University desperately attempting to shield themselves from the rain.

Not many of the dozens of students even so much as take a peek at the recently refurbished gallery; they clearly have no idea what they are missing out on.

I step into the gallery and I am greeted by a bright, open and welcoming space that is a haven from the chaos outside. There are dozens of people swanning around the gallery; we are all here for the same reason to see the highly-anticipated exhibition The Occupants.

The Occupants celebrates the home of art collector Stanley Picker, which was designed in 1968 by architect Kenneth Wood to house both Picker and his vast collection of art.

The house has been undisturbed since Stanley’s death in 1982 but has been brought to life again with a series of projects including photographs by artist Bridget Smith, sculptures by Cullinan Richards and a re-staging of 2012 Turner Prize nominee Elizabeth Price’s Stanley Picker Fellowship piece At The House of Mr X.

Speaking of the exhibition, Michael Ha, an architecture student from Kingston University said: “It is clearly a high calibre set of works, it has as a certain prestige; it is in a league of its own.”

Emil Mniszo, a student from Westminster University who travelled from London to see the exhibition said: “It is astounding, especially the photographs. They literally look like stills from a film. It is interesting to see the kind of work that other students produce.”

Gallery Director David Falkner believes that there is something for everyone within the exhibition, he said: “It is very diverse. There is photography, there is video, there is sculpture; but all of it is made by people who have had some association with the gallery previously or work in the faculty.”

“I think that it is a really interesting set of work,” said Trevor Keeble, Associate Dean, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture. “It obviously relates to the Stanley Picker House which is a fascinating example of late 1960’s architecture and design. It typifies the diversity of the artists and designers response and their diverse practice.”

Keeble believes that students will benefit from the exhibition, he said: “I hope a lot of people will come to the exhibition but I especially hope that students will come and really be able to understand that this work has been something that is really quite fascinating and tangible.”

The Occupants is a spectacular collection. Whether you are a devoted lover of art or just have a spare hour between lectures, pop over to The Stanley Picker Gallery at Knights Park, you will not regret it.

The Occupants runs from October 5 – November 24 2012.

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