Neville Gabie
Nachum's Coat

10 June - 8 July 2023
Extended to 14 October 2023
By appointment only - contact


Neville Gabie  Nachum (2018)


Private View: Friday 9 June - 6 to 9pm

Nachum's Coat, Neville Gabie's third solo exhibition at the gallery, comprises recent works made in the UK and South Africa, as well as historic works made soon after the first democratic elections in South Africa. Covering a period of over twenty-five years, the exhibition sheds light upon the personal and autobiographical side of Gabie's well established practice characterised by public, socially engaged commissions.

The installation Nachum (2018) introduces the artist's reflections on self-portraiture and the autobiographical. Beside the framed photograph of Gabie's grandfather's brother, after whom the artist is named, one can find a self-portrait of the artist facing away, accompanied by a coat, a hat and gloves on a coat hook. As Tessa Jackson elucidates in her commissioned essay 'Nachum's Coat', the purpose of the photograph taken in Riga in the 1920s remains unclear, it may have been an attempt to obtain documentation to leave the country and join his brother in South Africa. Nachum, along with Gabie's greatgrandparents, were shot dead in Riga in 1941. While he 'looks out anxiously into a future he did not know', the artist 'looks back into the past and the unbreachable chasm between them'. Attempting to make a connection across that broken divide, Nachum remains pivotal as it weaves in the on-going exploration of place, belonging and vulnerability which unfolds throughout Gabie's practice.

Including a mix of film-based performance, photographic works, and drawings, the exhibition presents the artist's recent studio practice. Experiments in Black and White XXX - Part 2 (2020), developed from a research project with UCL into the impact of Motor Neurone Disease, responds to a meeting with Mrs Begum who was in the late stages of MND. The film-based performance invites the viewer to think about one's inherent frailty while encountering the both deconstructed and reconstructed wood furniture upon which the artist once precariously perched.

Mapping the artist's choreographic involvement, Gabie's recent Interior drawings made with black biro pens and beeswax, echo the limitation of reach involved in Experiments in Black and White XXXV - Every day of my life until today V3 (2023). Revealing both physical and cosmic materiality, these works evoke what the artist refers to as 'inward and outward looking into a largely unknown territory or space'. Alongside, the vitrines on display invite the viewers to observe notebooks containing archival sketches and widely disparate materials, shapes and textures in a way that unveils the constellation of thoughts behind Gabie's practice.

A leaflet featuring commissioned writings by independent curator and writer Tessa Jackson OBE, and artist and educator Mark Dunhill, will be available during the exhibition.

Neville Gabie (born in Johannesburg, South Africa) has an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London 1986/88. His work is included in Tate Gallery, Arts Council Collections and The Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Working in a range of media from sculpture to film and photography Neville Gabie's practice is frequently inspired by a response to specific locations or situations. Often developed over a sustained period of involvement with site, local community groups and other creative and academic professionals, his projects value collaboration as key to their success. From highly urbanised to distantly remote locations, his work is a response to the vulnerability of place. His interest is in establishing a working relationship within a particular community as a means of considering its physical, cultural, or emotional geography.

Current Projects
Living Language Land - with Philippa Bayley and the British Council
Factory Works- a commission by Factory International, Manchester
At Sea - a new commission for Hull Maritime Museum
Two Posts and a Field - publication by Gabie and Stephen Done, published by Pitch Publications

For further information please contact

View Exhibition Leaflet HERE

Explore the virtual gallery


Detail from Nachum (2018). Installation view by Andrew Watson


Pomeroy to Maria Ratschitz Mission Station (1995). Installation view by Andrew Watson


Installation view by Andrew Watson


Interior (rhinoceros skull), 2022/3. Installation view by Andrew Watson


Installation view by Andrew Watson


Installation view by Andrew Watson


Interior (baboon skull) and Interior V2 (2022/3). Installation view by Andrew Watson


Skid (2006). Installation view by Andrew Watson


Experiments in Black and White XXXV - Everyday of my life until today V3, 2023. Installation view by Andrew Watson


Experiments in Black and White XXX - Part 2 (2020). Installation view by Andrew Watson