All Things Are Yours
Private view: Tuesday 30 April, 6-8.30pm
Exhibition continues: 1 – 31 May, 2019
Chelsea Space is pleased to present a solo show by artist Debra Welch. This exhibition focuses on the closure of her old school in Portsmouth, King Richard School, previously Paulsgrove Secondary Modern Boys & Girls School. Situated on a large post-war council estate in Paulsgrove, Portsmouth, it served families who lived there for over 60 years, becoming a central pillar to the local community. Welch sensed a melancholy around this closure and in 2016 began a process of communicating with the school, the community and the local authorities, documenting a collective memory. This evolving research culminated in the artist recording film footage of the building in its last days before demolition in 2018.
‘The film was approached in a very methodical way, documenting each room one after the other, and returning later for the bits I thought I might have missed. I felt a considerable amount of pressure to collect as much as I could. The new school building was being built on the same grounds at the time of filming and I knew very soon the old would be gone. I was filming in the stillness of the old, while outside the new was everything but quiet, and it was moving fast. I’ve driven past the site since and the school has gone, the land on which it once lived totally grown over as if it was never there to start.’
‘All Things are Yours’ (a motto taken from one of the school’s emblems) brings together new video works alongside sculptural and photographic pieces that have been made over the duration of this project, whilst the artist spent time between London and her hometown of Portsmouth.