Neville Gabie The Greatest Distance
The Greatest Distance 

Neville Gabie The Greatest Distance
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11 January - 10 February 2013

On July 27th 2012 Neville Gabie proposed being The Greatest Distance away from the opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic games. In order to reflect on where that place might be, he invited anybody to submit a proposal with suggestions, reasons and a means of travel to that destination. Having received ninety-nine viable ideas, he set up a selection panel of six people, Danielle Arnaud, Sam Wilkinson, Sarah Butler, David Lillington, Bill Drummond, Jason Wood. It was their task to go through all the material and select a final destination for Neville to travel, following the brief as closely as possible.

But why exactly would Neville Gabie wish to distance himself so specifically from the Olympic Opening Ceremony having previously spent sixteen months working as Artist in Residence on the Olympic Park during construction? Though there was much positive to respond to during construction and whilst the games have proved to be a popular success, the role of an artist in residence if it has any value at all, is to reflect, tease out and explore all opinion.

He became increasingly aware that significant numbers of people were very uneasy about what actually the brand of the Olympics represents, including himself. This project is about asking those questions and considering alternatives.


Neville’s practice is focused on responding to locations which are in the process of change. In practical terms his work has been manifested as a series of temporary interventions, books and films made in response to specific locations or situations. These sites are not arbitrary or randomly selected, but fit together, being places in a state of physical or social flux. Projects are developed over a sustained period of time and often involve working in collaboration with other artists and writers. Previous projects include POSTS published by Penguin Books [photographs from this publication have been exhibited in Japan, Korea, Germany, Portugal, South Africa and the UK]; Artist in Residence at Tate Liverpool; a four month residency at Halley Research Station, Antarctica with the British Antarctic survey; three years as artist in residence on a building site in Bristol – Cabot Circus bs1 and a five year project in a North Liverpool Tower block up in the air.

He has worked on residencies as far afield as Guangzhou in China, a remote town in western Australia at International Art Space Kellerberrin Australia, as well as working on a photographic project with the NGO Right to Play in Afghan Refugee camps in Pakistan. The Right to Play programme was established by a three-time Olympic gold medal winner Johann Koss.

His work is included in the Tate Gallery and Arts Council Collections.