Michael Speechley is an AV (audio visual) artist living and working in London, UK.
I set out on the selfish path to becoming an artist after the death of my mother. Today I can confirm that I’m still the same confused and unfocused person I was when I first started the journey. There have been successes, revelations and disappointments, there have been sleepless nights. There have been moments when there were too many ideas and other times when there were none. I’ve exhibited, curated, taught and performed. I’ve run a gallery in a cemetery and had work exhibited in a large institution. I’ve learnt that being an artist is hard and may never be a label I can claim.
What if I’m doing the wrong thing, what if I’m a fictional character?
Michael Speechley, July 2017
Email: michael.speechley (at) gmail.com
Studio: Neville Road Studios, London NW6 (by appointment only)
CV / Biography
Throughout my life I have had a passion for making images. I started out with photography documenting live music, fashion and social events much like todays cultural documentation but much slower and with less volume. Through the post-punk music scene I was exposed to bands using moving image as part of their stage shows and started to follow specific artists who used this technique. Soon I was making visuals for clubs and live events and have been continuing the practice since the mid 1980s up until today.
Through this period I ran parallel careers with my working life being in IT and my artistic output in live music and club venues. Today with the changing state of the London venues my visual work is generally commissioned for private events but occasionally seen out in the wild for community and art events and exhibitions.
Charity and Local Council Projects:
2018-2020 – RECONSTRUCTION
Brent Regeneration, South Kilburn Estate, photography, film, dance and poetry
2017 – What-if
Crisis Skylight Brent, Commemorating the charities 50th year anniversary. Photographic workshops, community engagement, exhibition
2015-2016 – Stories Uncovered and Waking the Dead
Octavia Foundation, Tate (learning outreach programme), work exhibited at Tate Britain
2016-2017 – Memory and Movement
Age UK Kensington & Chelsea, film project documenting dementia sufferers
2016-2017 – Arts and Culture support and project management
Westway Trust, festival management and curation, venue preparation, workshops
Artist Studio Projects and Artist Residencies:
2018-Current – Neville Road Studios
Ok Club, South Kilburn, studio creation for 4 artists and reestablishment of stage and large scale performance and rehersal space
2017-2018 – Kindred Studios
Maida Hill/Queens Park, London. Building management and studio set-up for 150 artists
2015-2016 – Dissenter’s Gallery
Kensal Green Cemetery, Gallery Director, Artist in Residence (12 months)
2013-2014 – BAR Gallery (Brent Artists Resource)
(1) Willesden Library (2) Queens Parade, Willesden, London. Curator, Artist, Director (current)
2013 – Electric House
Willesden, London. Installation, live performance, workshops
2012 – Albert Meanwhile Project
Artist in Residence
My main artistic practice revolves around audio visual techniques both in the analogue and digital domain. I have worked extensively across London and the UK working with live music artists to create immersive environments to compliment and enhance the audience experience. I use multiple projectors, sensors and data analysis to interact with spaces and audiences. I also collaborate with artists across a wide of artistic disciplines from music, dance and computational art through to ceramics, textiles and sensory experiences.
Highlights include working in the Royal Festival Hall and Roundhouse in London and with artists Andrew Weatherall, Heaven 17, OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), Frankie Knuckles and Gary Numan along with a huge list of DJs from around the world. The best experiences have always been the intimate hidden venues where scenes have been incubated such as the Fitness Club, London where Shoom took place and UK dance culture exploded from and Happy Jacks where Andrew Weatherall hosted his Sabresonic night in the early 1990s, my favourite club event by none.
Below is a short list of some of the venues I've worked in, either performing live visuals or having video work screened:
ABC, Glasgow - Astoria, London - Brixton Academy, London - Bush Hall, London - City Hall, Sheffield - Corn Exchange, Leeds - Forum, London - Koko, London - O2 Academy, Liverpool - Roundhouse, London - Royal Festival Hall, London - Shepherds Bush Empire, London - Troxy, London - Bestival, Isle of Wight - Vintage Festival, Goodwood Estate, West Sussex