Geraldine Pilgrim Toynbee, photo Hugo Glendinning
Artist Geraldine Pilgrim at Toynbee Hall. Photograph: Hugo Glendinning

Toynbee is an installation by artist Geraldine Pilgrim highlighting the social, political and artistic significance of Toynbee Hall and Studios.

During its six-day run Pilgrim addresses significant issues and historical events connected to the Hall, which was founded in 1884, such as the match girls’ strike of 1888, William Beveridge’s first ideas about a Welfare State and unemployment, as well as the role of former politician John Profumo who volunteered at the Hall after the Profumo scandal of 1963.

“Toynbee Hall is the most important building in Britain as far as I am concerned. So much has happened there over the years which sets changes in a variety of areas,” says Pilgrim.

The building’s history of involvement with welfare issues is reflected throughout Toynbee, with Pilgrim revealing fragments of the past within a landscape of live music, image and performance.

She adds: “It is a performance installation journey, which reveals glimpses of the past and present – people have probably never realised the history of the building and what has occurred there.”

Toynbee – Geraldine Pilgrim is at Toynbee Hall and Studios, 28 Commercial Street, E1 6AB from 10 – 15 December

toynbeehall.org.uk

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