The Portals Project

Part One: El Umbral – The Threshold

5 – 23 July 2022

Opening Reception
Wednesday 6 July, 6-9pm

Helena Goldwater The Pleasure of Small Partings 2014

Bermondsey Project Space is the host site for Part One: El Umbral – The Threshold, the first exhibition and events of The Portals Project. In this context, the installed paintings, drawings, works in embroidery thread, and video artworks establish a scene in which the fictional characters of the pieces begin to exist, and where worlds are formed.

These works are thresholds that visitors may enter: unbounded spaces, fantastic holes, precarious caves – sites of uncertainty, displacement and risk. The four artists, Helena Goldwater, Lucía Imaz King, Wayne Lucas and Simon Vincenzi use different, but interconnected tactics to present portals where each lead to a turning point.

Wayne Lucas
Molly Gardens 2021
Lucía Imaz King
The Why and The Who 2021

Thresholds, whether in fiction or in architecture, invite us to leave a space behind in order to enter another; to decide to cross into a different world, one that may initially seem impenetrable but that opens up in time. In post-pandemic public life, spaces increasingly feature transparent screens to protect us from contamination forming invisible divides. By contrast the thresholds in El Umbral break down boundaries and contaminate the imaginary. The invitation to pass through these portals offers choices that are intentionally unsettling.

Events are open to everyone. Arrangements will be made for a BSL sign language interpreter on request to the gallery.  

Event 1. Sunday 10th July 10-1pm
Threadbare: A participatory workshop at the gallery led by Wayne Lucas reflecting on drawing through sewing and memory. Using the needle and thread as a drawing implement.
Ticketed, £15 + booking fee. Limited places. Early booking recommended.

Event 2. Tuesday 12th July 4-6pm
LGBTQIA+ Arts Curation and Collaboration. An online discussion/webinar on this topic, chaired by Rachael House with the panel Andrew Etherington and Kia Matanky-Becker (Bermondsey Project Space), Jamie Wyld (videoclub), and the exhibiting artists. Public participation and feedback is welcome.
Join link to be posted on the gallery website prior to the event.

Event 3. Thursday 14th July 7.30-9pm
Artists’ Talk chaired by Gill Addison. Meet The Portals Project artists in a discussion at the gallery about the exhibition, the project, and the works included, with Q&A.
Ticketed, £5 + booking fee. Limited places. Early booking recommended.

Simon Vincenzi Some Shadow Plays From The Cave 2022 (video stills)
The Portals Project has been supported by University of Brighton‘s Inclusion and Diversity Fund, and by State Magazine London

About the Artists

Helena Goldwater makes performance art and paintings where a dedication to process is a way of exploring how concepts can be developed over time to inhabit something ‘other’. Her work has been shown at galleries and festivals, nationally and internationally, including, Action: A provisional history of the 90s, MACBA: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; gut flora, MOCA, London; Nature Morte, Guildhall Art Gallery, London; 1st Venice International Performance Art Week, Italy; If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, de Appel, Amsterdam; and at the Tate [Britain + Liverpool]. She has also produced archives of 1970s UK performance art histories, Glimpses of Before, and with Rob La Frenais, Alex Eisenberg & Live Art Development Agency, an online resource on 1980s UK-based performance art, Edge of an Era, which also commissioned new works.

Lucía Imaz King produces drawings, paintings and video installations. She is also founding director of VisionMix, an international artists’ moving image network, has lived/worked in the Netherlands for 11 years and in India for 5 years. Her large-scale drawings investigate the temporal and spatial properties of filmmaking and painting; film storytelling forms that create a perceptual relationship with the viewer in relation to the painted (and drawn) image. Her work typically explores imagined, improbable and non-figurative landscapes; speculative spaces that struggle to acquire a sense of rootedness and belonging. King’s projects have recently been shown at galleries such as Hong-gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2021) Espacio Santa Clara, Sevilla, 2020; Aspa Contemporary, Madrid, 2019; Appleton Gallery, Lisbon, 2019; Santoraspace205, Santa Ana, California, 2018, and ‘Future Orbits’, Kochi-Muziris Biennial, India (2017) the latter curated by her as VisionMix director.

Wayne Lucas’ work often takes on a biographical form, exploring his relationship to the body and the space it inhabits, while addressing the human condition, sexuality and isolation. Blurring the activities of painting and sculpture through a restless and obsessive accretion of materials including textiles, garments, found objects and paint, recent works are both a physical play with ideas and their representation. A reference to art history anchors the works, which oscillate between the two; a place between memory and fantasy. Selected shows include; Urban Bird, James Coleman gallery, London 2004; Obtractivism, Hales Gallery, London 2004, Prague Biennale, 2004, Deptford x retrospective, APT, London 2008. He was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing prize in 2008 and 2009. He was winner of the APT bursary to create a group show, Prognostic Bridewell, Apt gallery, London 2010 and The Thoughts of stuff, Royal Society of Sculptors, 2010

Simon Vincenzi is a London based theatre director, choreographer and designer. His theatre shows, performances, live-streams, websites and installations have been seen as part of The Venice Biennale, Kunsten Festival des Arts, Theater Der Welt/Hallé, Netmage Festival/Bologna, The Barbican Centre/London, Live Arts Week/Bologna, Malta Festival/Poznan and Bad House Festival/Helsinki.

His work is often the result of expanded processes over various forms that include invisible dances… (with Bock & Vincenzi) 1999-2007, Operation Infinity 2007-2016, the ongoing editions of From The Dead Air Orgy and The Exquisite Corpse. Simon has designed operas, theatre and dance shows for Impact Theatre, Rose English, English National Opera, The ICA, Andrew Poppy, Duckie BAROKTHEGREAT and Lea Anderson


Webinar Panellists

Jamie Wyld has been working for 20 years in various arts, culture, and heritage contexts at festivals, cinemas, galleries, and museums. In 2005, he established videoclub with artist Ben Rivers and curator Laura Mousavi-Zadeh which has supported and shown the work of over 500 artists in China, South Korea, Taiwan, USA, Argentina, and Europe. He has been co-curating the programme, Both Sides Now with Videotage (Hong Kong) since 2014, including Both Sides Now: Queer (2019/21), including work by Ming Wong, Anson Mak, Matt Lambert and Jay Bernard.

His initiative ‘Vital Capacities’ a virtual residency platform supports international residencies, in collaboration with ICA (Cape Town), Tangled Arts & Disability (Toronto), Wysing Arts Centre, East St Arts, University of Salford Arts Collection, and Film London (among others). He was also Programme Curator and interim CEO at Lighthouse in Brighton for 5 years, working with artists such as Kutlug Ataman, Laure Prouvost and Semiconductor.

Jamie also Co-directs The Nimbus Group, producing mixed platform, socially engaged arts and heritage projects, and directs the arts management agency, This is Wyld.


Rachael House (she/her) is a UK artist who makes events, objects, performance, drawings and zines. Rachael House’s work focuses on feminist and queer politics and resistant histories/herstories/theirstories, addressing like-minded people inside and outside of the art worlds. She uses humour, personal engagement and events to draw in recruits. 

Her practice also encompasses making zines, archived in museums, universities and featured in academic and art books as part of the 1990s international queerzine scene.

Her projects range from Rachael House’s Feminist Disco- putting the ‘disco’ into ‘discourse’, to an ongoing series of piñatas representing heteronormativity, patriarchy and the institution of monarchy, to be gleefully and violently smashed at joyful celebrations with big glittery sticks. Her book, Resistance Sustenance Protection, was published in 2021, supported by Metal Culture and ACE.

Rachael is Co-director of Space Station Sixty-Five (currently on sabbatical). SS65 is an artist-initiated curation project set up by Jo David and herself in 2002. Since 2020, initially run in a shop-front space in SE22, its focus of activities moved to a base in Kennington in 2012. Since 2020, SS65 is run by Space Art forming the core of its curatorial activity (a contemporary art CIO registered charity).


Andrew Etherington is a former Northerner who has made a living in the art world for the 16 years. He has worked variously as a gallerist, dealer, researcher, art technician, writer and market stall holder, and was appointed as Gallery Director at Bermondsey Project Space in 2020.

In that capacity, he has supported artists at all stages of their career to stage projects on their own terms, from working with established names to create commercially-successful solo exhibitions, to mentoring graduate artists to write successful funding applications and stage sell-out events.

Previously Andrew has collaborated with West-End galleries to stage touring exhibitions by their artists outside of London, organised retrospectives by outsider industrial artists at regional museums, and has given several artists who have gone on to have international success their first solo shows. He is a committed collector, focusing on contemporary printmaking and works on paper.