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A mixtape and two-week laboratory

‘Island Life’ is a two-week laboratory that will utilise 571 Gallery and its surroundings to physically test out the more ephemeral and itinerant practices that is The Engine Room.

Based out of Dee Park Estate in Reading, The Engine Room is an independent arts and mental health collective initiated by a group of creatives facing mental health challenges across our local communities.

Our approach is to create spaces for individuals to access independent, free thinking creative experiences of quality, facilitated by artists that promote empowerment, recovery and healthy human development in a nurturing safe space across our local community.

In the summer of 2022, ‘The Oxford Road Times’, a free 28 page newspaper distributed to shops and businesses along the Oxford Road and housed in Reading Museum, contained documentation of performances, actions and happenings as well as propositions for future public sculptures and projects without a finite conclusion.

‘Island Life’ will physically realise some of these propositions through events, gatherings, talks and screenings alongside creating new site-specific works.

‘Island Life’ playfully riffs off the Grace Jones compilation album. Our proposal is to be a compilation.

A mixtape.

Organised by Lisa-Marie Gibbs and Philip Newcombe.

With kind support from Reading Borough Council, Historic England and HSHAZ (High Streets Heritage Action Zones).

Exhibition Opening

Friday 24 November, 6-8pm.

Opening Times/Dates and Events

Saturday 25th November:

Open 1pm – 6pm

Sunday 26 November:

Open 1pm – 6pm

Tuesday 28 November:

Film Screenings 1 – 5pm

Thursday 30 November:

Film Screenings 6 – 8pm

Saturday 2 December:

Open 1pm - 8pm Live-Feed Screening from DJ Amature & DJ Magpie

From 6pm

‘Having grown up on a selection of old reggae (Gregory Isaccs, Peter Tosh, Sugar Minott) Ska (Prince Buster, Lord Tanamo, The Skatalites), Jungle & Drum and Bass (shy fx, Marvelous cain, Dj Hype) I ended up with quite a mixed spectrum of musical influence. Today, this translates into sets where I pick apart and infuses together all the pieces of this music that I love best: beautiful basslines, echoing skanks, wailing organs, and occasional vocal hooks… all on top of a pronounced foot-shuffling reggae vibe. Though I love playing in nightclubs, patios and special events, my love for music goes beyond the spectrum of mixing tunes. “For me, it’s all about mood and a deep, hypnotic groove… playing those tracks that get you tapping your feet and nodding your head without you realizing it’

Sunday 3 December:

Open 1pm – 6pm

Workshop: ‘Bearing Witness to Grey’

Join us for a walk along the Oxford Road to ‘Bear witness to the colour grey as it shifts through space and time and chart your own colour palette as you see how colours can establish a deep relationship between people and place. Past, present and future.

1.30pm meet at 571 gallery

Saturday 9 December:

Closing Party FOOD 2 – 4pm

Open 1 – 6pm

Throughout the exhibition the space is also open by appointment.

Where to find us

This event is at 571 Oxford Road, Reading. Public transport is available from Reading town center and Reading station if you are visiting from elsewhere.