Beyond the Dustheaps

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Untitled, 2010 © Ruth Martindale
Beyond the Dustheaps
Curated by: Island Projects

48 Doughty Street
London WC1N 2LX
United Kingdom
September 24th, 2010 - December 11th, 2010
Opening: September 24th, 2010 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

fitzrovia, bloomsbury
Monday - Saturday 10:00 - 17:00 Sunday 10:00 - 17:00
writing installation video-art performance conceptual, sculpture
Daytime events only include Museum admission charge


Island Projects announce their continued involvement with The Charles Dickens Museum, with the curation of 14 new works by artists that will mark the opening of new visitor spaces by the Museum in the adjacent house, 49 Doughty Street.

Beyond the Dustheaps is an exhibition of new contemporary artworks made in response to the Museum and to Dickens's life and works. The artists have been given free reign to create works that are interspersed within the Museum's current displays as well as creating installations in the empty spaces of the new extension.

A serial publication including writing by David Berridge, Jane Madell and Matthew MacKisack will be launched at a series of performance, reading and film events throughout the three month duration of the exhibition. Events will coincide with the Bloomsbury and This Is Not A Gateway festivals. The project is supported by Camden Council's Creative small grants scheme.

Curatorial Concept


an unfathomable farce – a farce that goes down to the roots of the universe.”


So wrote detective novelist and Dickens scholar, G K Chesterton about Dickens penultimate novel, Our Mutual Friend. A tale of social facades, dark secrets and manipulative schemes. The secrets hidden within the dustheaps of victorian Kings Cross are central to the storyline. In it a host of characters, gold diggers and questers of moral truths in turns debase and redeem themselves in a cycle of altruistic and anti-social acts.


In an investigative manner, 17 artists and writers have devised new artworks and writing in response to Dickens former home in Doughty Street and his literature.


Based in two parallel but contrasting spaces, the exhibition functions as a series of artworks intervening with the existing museum displays and installed within the newly vacated office spaces next door. A dual exhibition moving between psychological space and that of the language of (re)construction.


The facades of society are central to Our Mutual Friend and within the not so empty shell of number 49 Doughty Street the materials tell a story of contemporary urbanism where perhaps the holes, peeling walls and used carpets contain much more than just a veneer.

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