29th February 2024 Arts

Bari Goddard’s spectacular show THE DRESS comes to the Centre and Café – March 2024

(Main picture: 21st Century Pieta, copyright Bari Goddard)

The Bonnington Centre is excited to announce that Bari Goddard, the brilliant avant-garde and wonderfully controversial Welsh singer-songwriter, artist and photographer is premiering his exhibition THE DRESS throughout March 2024 at both the Bonnington Centre and the Bonnington Cafe.

The show – several years in the making – features dozens of notable LGBTQ figures, including celebrities such as Holly Johnson, donning the same beautiful white dress. Each wearer brings their own personality and emotions to their photoshoot – leading to a richly textured and emotional show.

Bari’s work as an artist encompasses film-making, painting, photography, and music. He has performed and recorded with Jimmy Somerville, Madonna, Cliff Richard, Banderas, Horse, Vinna Bee, Anarchistwood and Then Jerico.

Critic Andrija Seifried is full of praise for Bari’s latest work: “Bari shows both a mischievous and sometimes grotesque sense of humour through placing before us a complex tableau of uniquely different scenarios and moods. What we wear is rarely who we are.

“You really have to know the artist to understand and journey through this bizarre carnival of characters which include Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Adele Anderson of Fascinating Aida, Charlotte Hunter of Harry Potter film fame and a myriad of other straight, gay and trans and non-binary subjects.”

THE DRESS opens for viewing on March 1st, and can be seen in the Top Room either by attending booked classes or events during March, or by requesting admittance. The easiest way to see Bari’s photographs in the Bonnington Café will be to eat there – with the Café now open Tuesday to Saturday evenings from 6pm to 10.30pm, and for Sunday brunch from 11am to 3pm. There’s also a Private View on Sunday 3rd March from 5pm-8pm. Please email bari.goddard@gmail.com for more information. 

Remarkable raffle

Until Thursday March 28th, raffle tickets will also be on sale for £10 each – with no limit per person – featuring a remarkable prize: a photoshoot for the winner while wearing THE DRESS at a London location. 

The raffle winner will be the last ever person to be photographed in THE DRESS before Bari himself dons it for the last time, and then sets it on fire! The raffle is now open, and tickets can be purchased for £10 each, via Paypal using the QR code below

Bari has kindly decided that 50% of all proceeds from the raffle will go to the Bonnington Centre Community Association, a not for profit community led resource.  

Pippa Davenport, one of the Trustees at the BCCA, who has herself also been photographed by Bari in THE DRESS, says she is delighted that the show will be in the heart of Vauxhall, which enjoys the second highest LGBTQ+ population in the UK.

“Like any member of the LGBT+ community, moving to a new area was a little daunting. But soon after arriving, I realised how special the Lambeth community is,” says Pippa. “That’s why, when I was asked to put myself forward as a trustee of the Bonnington Centre, I said I’d love to. Helping to reopen the Café – and helping to make the Centre a place where anyone can come and feel safe is even more important now.

“The artist Bari Goddard took this wonderful photo of me – which represents to myself the strong person I’ve become over the 29 years since my surgery. But also the vulnerable, unsure person that’s still inside.”

The wonderful Pippa Davenport, a BCCA trustee, in Siren of the Silent Age (copyright Bari Goddard)

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