Bingo At The London Art Fair

Anyone who is in London on Sunday 25 January 2015 and has an interest in art or bingo should be heading over to the Henry/Bragg B.I.N.G.O event at the London Art Fair. The event which runs between 1pm and 4pm in Islington is a celebration of bingo’s place within working class culture, and promises to be an entertaining and enlightening afternoon.

The event includes live bingo games, with real prizes that have been sponsored by us here at Playing There will be a series of photographic works and a film installation of bingo players that are the result of a year’s work by Julie Henry and Debbie Bragg.

The event will be a look back at the glory days of bingo, presenting the games with glitz and gold to accentuate its previous prominence within working class culture. Even if you’ve never played bingo before, nor have a great interest in art, the event will be one not to be missed, the duo have already delved into many aspects of culture through their works which are an interesting and evocative look at the people of Britain.

Why did Henry/Bragg choose bingo as the subject of their latest art project? “They highlight subject matters that mean a great deal to them, like the erosion of working class culture in the age of neoliberalism and global consumerism.” In short, they have chosen bingo because to them it is a very important part of working class culture. The working classes themselves have been attacked by the forces of neoliberalism (Thatcherite policies). And, ‘global consumerism’ contributes to the decline of working class culture. We are now in an ‘MTV age’, The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club have long gone, and while millions are still glued to ‘Corrie’ and ‘Enders’ every week, our culture and media are in danger of being swamped by the forces of globalisation, which has Americanism as the main driving force (think baseball caps, not cloth caps).

Henry Bragg Bingo

Photograph from the B.I.N.G.O series.

We look forward immensely to the show, as the pair have wisely decided to make it a bit of fun with the bingo game, as opposed to a regular art opening with the usual freebie Prosecco and canapes. And we’re hoping to cross off a few lines as there are some great prizes on offer including framed prints from the B.I.N.G.O series, memorabilia from a recently closed down bingo hall and other specially customised unique artworks, as well as traditional prizes of meat and teddy bears! We hope to see you there, tickets can be booked from, or bought at the door. January is always a bit of a lackluster month, so enliven it with a bit of art and bingo!

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