Artist Neville Gabie has been appointed by the ODE (Olympic Delivery Authority) as the Artist in residence for the 2012 Olympic park, in East London. The Authority will work alongside the park’s diverse communities in order to create a memorable cultural experience. A similar honour was awarded to Chinese dissident Artist, Ai Weiwei for the recent 2008 Beijing Olympics. Over the next 16 months Gabie will work alongside the park’s workforce and committee. This is never an easy job. It will take a careful balancing act for the Artist to remain corporate and cutting edge at the same time. Wiewei was masterful at this task and the outcome was ground breaking. The ODA said the projects would honour the history of the past as well as capture the aspirations for the future. Sarah Weir, from the ODA, said: ‘With the Olympic Park undergoing the “big build” phase, this is a special time for an artist to be on site and get under the skin of this unique regeneration project. ‘We were looking for an artist who would be able to respond to the physical transformation of this part of London, honouring the history of the past while also capturing the changing nature of the present and the aspirations for the future.”We hope that Neville’s work with the workforce and the communities around the park will help continue to foster a sense of ownership and local involvement.”
Mr Gabie’s previous projects and residencies include a four-month spell in Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey and three years on the Cabot Circus Development building site in Bristol. Speaking about his appointment, he said: “This project brings together things that I have long been passionate about – the diversity of community, engagement with people and place and a shared experience of sport and play.”
Gabie, a South African born, Royal College graduate, will have his hands full to coordinate this event and if he succeeds leave a lasting legacy, for generations to come.