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Public Art (Now) masterclass Wednesday 18th November 2015, Watershed. Theaster Gates is an artist, musician and activist based in Chicago.
Trained as both a sculptor and an urban planner, his artworks are rooted in social responsibility as well as a deep belief system.
When the Knights Hospitaller were themselves suppressed by Henry VIII in 1540, the church was taken over by the parish. The shape of the original Templar church is now marked out on the ground.
It was one of the largest of only a dozen such churches in England and it appears that the Bristol Temple became the administrative centre for the order in the South West.
By 1307, however, the order had fallen into disrepute and their lands were later confiscated and handed to the Knights Hospitaller.
was Theaster Gates' first public project in the UK, produced by Situations, as part of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital.
Read more Watch our Public Art (Now) interview with Theaster Gates Visit the artist's page at the White Cube website Watch Theaster Gates’ Ted Talk Bristol’s Temple Church on Temple Street, off Victoria Street, was the first English parish church to be taken into ownership by the then Ministry of Works, and is today in the care of English Heritage.
It is a Grade II listed building and scheduled monument and is popularly known as Temple Church because the original circular church was built by the Knights Templar, recalling the Church of the Holy Sepulchre that stands in Jerusalem.
Gates often works with architects, researchers and performers to create artworks.
For his exhibition at Milwaukee Art Museum in 2010, Gates invited a gospel choir into the galleries to sing songs adapted from the inscriptions on pots by the famous 19th century slave and potter ‘Dave Drake’.
In another exhibition at Seattle Art Museum, Gates transformed the gallery into an audio archive entitled ‘The Listening Room’, incorporating a hand-built DJ booth spinning selections from the now foreclosed Dr Wax record store in Chicago, formerly an influential hub for jazz, blues and R&, in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
His most acclaimed work, Dorchester Projects, began in 2009 with Gates transforming a cluster of buildings on Chicago’s South Side into alternative cultural spaces.