Ali Exhibit Running Until End of the Month
A major exhibition to mark Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday is on now through the 30th of September at an east London gallery which features an amazing view of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.
With contributions from photographers and artists worldwide, In the Rings with Ali is on view at the Smokehouse gallery. The Smokehouse is a new 6,600 square foot art project space located within the still operating facilities of the H. Forman and sons' salmon smokery in Hackney Wick. The gallery is situated just across the canal from the Olympic Stadium on a street lined with more great galleries and eateries (including Forman's own restaurant) all of which seem strategically placed to take in the amazing views of the Olympic Park.
The exhibition is the brainchild of Dutch photographer, Christina Jansen, who first met and photographed Ali in 1986, and is curated by experienced independent art advisor and curator, Sandra Higgings. Getting all the right pieces from different stages in Ali's life took more than two years. The final result is a show that not only highlights the career of one of world's all-time greatest athletes but also lovingly records the extraordinary humanitarian work to which the boxer has committed himself to through the decades.
In the Rings with Ali features photography by Christina Jansen and other photographers including Michael Gaffney, Sonia Katchian and Neil Kenlock – along with George Lois' iconic “St Sebastian” cover photo for Esquire magazine. Muhammad Ali's brother Rahaman Ali has contributed paintings to In the Rings as well. In addition to the incredible documentary and behind the scenes photography and original art, there's a display of memorabilia relating to Ali's boxing career and in particular his success at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and screenings of footage of legendary boxing achievements and recent interviews with Ali.
All works on view are for sale with a percentage of the profits being donated to Amnesty International, Parkinson's Research, and to a local boxing club in East London. Along with the actual exhibition, an open visual art and poetry competition and community outreach program has been launched to bring the exhibition to a large audience in the East End and beyond. A portion from the proceeds will be given to designated charities.
The Smokehouse is located at Stour Road, Fish Island, E3 2NT, and is open to the public Thursdays and Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. (or by special appointment). The nearest station is Hackney Wick Overground. Find out more at in-the-rings-with-ali.com.
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photo: Chris Osburn