PRESS RELEASE

Nicholas Pope

An Explanatory Exhibition in association with Broadway Malyan Architects

5 September - 27 September 2005

'There is spray, there is fog; I dream, I doze, until ('Jesus') heart in my mouth, I drift up the slip road to the Seven Deadly Sins Services - into that nether world where every wayfaring feeling and susceptibility is ...'

Thus Nicholas Pope describes a trip to 'The Motorway Service Station of the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Virtues', one element of a triptych, which will constitute his most ambitious work to date. The triptych will consist of the 'Seven7services', representing secular pleasures; 'The Oratory of Heavenly Space' which investigates belief; a Recycling Plant 'Oblivion', that will deal with death. Pope's aim, over time, is for the triptych to be fully realised and to this end he is collaborating with the architect Peter Vaughan of Broadway Malyan on the 'Seven7services'. Peter Vaughan and Nicholas Pope are also collaborating on the design of a major 1 million square foot development around Greenwich Transport interchange.

Computer generated images of the 'Seven7services', models, drawings, watercolours, sculptures and helmets dealing with the development of the triptych by Pope and the collaboration with Peter Vaughan will be on display at Bernard Jacobson Gallery. Pope describes one helmet, 'John the B's helmet / light show' as 'mashing it all together: belief, architecture, love, having a headache, seeing the light, lying'. 'John the B's helmet' goes right back to 'John the Baptist pointing the way' (also in the exhibition) except electricity has replaced oil as fuel for the lights.

In the 1980s Pope's art star was in the ascendant. He had represented Britain at the 1980 Venice Biennale, was taken on by Anthony d'Offay then Waddington Galleries and was exhibiting internationally. His career came to an abrupt halt in 1987 after a viral infection, contracted in Tanzania in 1982 on a research trip to the Makonde valley, forced him to stop work for five years. In 1992, he was able to begin working again and first exhibited in the 'Art Now' space at TATE Britain in 1996, showing 'The Apostles Speaking in Tongues' where the tongues of fire, which appeared atop the Apostles at Pentecost, become the lighting system for Pope's 'Oratory of Heavenly Space' and at the same time a self illuminating sculpture.

From an early drawing depicting 'Suicide' made around 1986, Pope has been quietly working to define his subject. Landscape, pissing on the motorway, belief, death, recycling and love all intertwine, at times connected and understood, at others times scattered and struggling. The Cassock and the Choir Boy (vestments for the Oratory) are tight and claustrophobic; the felted mohair model for 'Oblivion' is the antithesis of a recycling plant; the collaborative designs with Peter Vaughan for the 'Love' section at the Seven7services are as aggressive as enveloping. Transport interchange.

Illustrated booklets with accompanying texts in collaboration with Kevin Mount of DeMo dealing with The Oratory of Heavenly Space, the Seven7services and Justice will be available at the exhibition.

The Bernard Jacobson show is Pope's first London exhibition since 1996.