And the Heavens Cried was the most comprehensive presentation to date of work by artist Bob Parks. Showcasing Parks’ diverse practice this exhibition included painting, sculpture, poetry and performance. Taking its title from Ronnie Savoy’s Rhythm and Blues song And the Heavens Cried it charted Parks’ vast autobiographical output from the 1960s to the present day.
Parks moved to South Central Los Angeles in 1972 where he immersed himself in its avant-garde culture, reinventing himself as an extreme performance artist and avid Gospel church-goer. Visual art and music cannot be separated in his practice and are in fact co-dependent; R&B is ever present in his life and work and formed a central feature of this exhibition.
Film footage bookended the exhibition with excerpts from a forthcoming documentary directed by Nathaniel Mellors and Marcus Werner-Hed due for release in 2014 and clips from Parks’ 1972 appearance on the US amateur talent contest The Gong Show as his alter-ego Bignose.
A number of events exploring Parks’ wider interests include a Record Swap Workshop, newly commissioned performance and a special gig by Bob Parks and The Recreationals.
+Tuesday 17 September
Listen to Bob Parks & Marcus Werner Hed discuss Parks’ colourful life, the subject of a documentary currently in production.
+Saturday 5 October
Fierce Club Night
Bob Parks presented an autobiographical performance for Fierce Club Night at AE Harris.
+Saturday 26 October
Bob Parks Record Swap Workshop
in association with Supersonic. Bob Parks spent a day in the gallery DJing and swapping musical knowledge and tastes.