‘In the Way of Being’ was an exhibition held in the former home and practice of the late Dr John Slome (1929–2012), from the 7th – 16th December 2012. Dr Slome was an academic, a linguist, a pianist, a DIY fanatic, a gynaecologist who helped develop artificial insemination in the 1970′s, a husband, a father and a grandfather. He was “completely eccentric and absolutely normal and ordinary at the same time” (Gabriella Sonabend – artist, granddaughter).
The exhibition – curated and documented by Slome’s granddaughter (and my own childhood friend) Gabriella Sonabend – brought together eight artists whose works were inspired by what they found inside Dr Slome’s home as it was left after his death. The artists were : Alice Gomme, Louis-Jack Horton-Stephens, Samuel Kilcoyne, Harry Mitchell, Hugh Nicholson, Claire Poulter, Will Saunders, Sebastien Sebastien and Gabriella Sonabend. Gabriella told Urban Times:
Dr Slome was my grandfather and after he passed away in the summer of 2012 I felt compelled to find a way of celebrating his life and inviting people to engage with the intriguing building that he lived in. I invited 8 artists into the house and allowed them to look at anything, which interested them from personal medical notes to the curious contents of his workshop drawers. Each artist found something about the house or my grandfather, which they felt either personally connected to or intrigued by and made original works, which were displayed in the rooms of the house. As a part of the exhibition schedule Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller presented his new documentary ‘The Bruce Lacey Experience’ and prominent set designer Jeremy Herbert gave a talk about ‘the house as a set’.
The beautiful documentary below (filmed by Louis-Jack Horton-Stephens and edited by Gabriella) is a walk through guide of the exhibition explaining both the works and their relevance to the history of the house. It depicts – through a paired down combination of stills, video and voice over narration – a unique and thoughtful exhibition that is as much an obituary and tribute to the man, as it is a place of art.