O Complex Mass – A Concrete Liturgy


Sun 23 Oct 2022, 12–5pm

Dilston Gallery → Venue Info

More Info

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 over an extended period of site-responsive research, produced specifically for and about Dilston Gallery through an approach Lawrence refers to as ‘spatial writing’ (alluding to both Spatial Music and site-writing practices), O Complex Mass encompasses a new choral work based on a graphic score by Stephen Crowe, developed and interpreted by Musarc – the School of Art, Architecture and Design’s experimental choral assembly.

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 this nascent technology to serve what was deemed, by at least one writer at the time, to be 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 way, 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.

Venue Info

Sun 23 Oct 2022, 12–5pm
Dilston Gallery
Dilston Grove
Southwark Park
London SE16 2UA