DJ-turned-painter Andrew Pierre Hart mixes music and art for upcoming Whitechapel exhibition

Andrew Pierre Hart in his studio. Photograph: courtesy the artist, Christina Holke and Tiwani

DJ-turned-artist Andrew Pierre Hart is set to explore the relationship between sound and painting in an exhibition at East London’s renowned Whitechapel Gallery.

Hart brings a musician’s spirit and spontaneity to his art, unafraid to improvise in his creation of sculptures, murals, films, performances, and more.

His show at the Whitechapel, Bio-Data Flows and Other Rhythms – A Local Story, will run from 15 February until 7 July and demonstrate his ability to sample various disciplines to great effect.

It will feature a site-specific mural, a series of oil paintings, a bamboo sculpture, and a sound composition that doubles as a score for Hart’s new film, which will also be on display.

Invention of a Graphic score (After Marc Hannah), 2023. Image: courtesy Andrew Pierre Hart

The film, Free Writers, follows three dancers as they waltz through the gallery and the bustling market stalls of the nearby high street and Brick Lane.

It makes reference to Whitechapel’s history as a home to migrant communities, and conveys what Hart describes as “the ‘sites’ and sounds of the area – a compound of myriad histories and contemporary life”.

He explained: “Whitechapel has long been a multi-cultured and multi-religious area.

“I am interested in all kinds of empowering stories of people’s struggles and standing for their positions against racism.

“When we walk along these streets today, we also walk past those histories.”

The exhibition’s six oil paintings see Hart delve further into his experience of the area.

One features a young man and an older man standing next to a soundsystem on an imaginary Whitechapel street.

The artwork symbolises the cross-generational exchange of ideas and tastes, as well as the intervention of music within the backdrop of inner-city racial struggles.

Other paintings are more abstract, with geometric patterns of bright, contrasting colours. These reflect Hart’s impressions of Whitechapel through movement and rhythm, and is perhaps where the blend of musicality and art is most keenly felt.

The patterns in the paintings draw on diverse influences, including African architecture, sheet music, and even digital coding.

Similarly abstract is the large, hand-painted mural – created with the help of two art students – that will fill one wall of the gallery. The piece is inspired by the many murals and pieces of street art found across the East End.

A tower-like structure made out of black bamboo will sit in front of the mural.

Bamboo is widely used in construction projects in Africa, and for Hart this sculpture will give the sense that the mural is still in the process of being created.

It is also designed to resemble the temporary stalls used by market traders in Whitechapel.

As visitors move around the sculpture, the vertical bamboo stems should combine with the linear shapes in the mural behind them to create a feeling of motion.

The exhibition will also host three live events, during which the space will be brought to life with dance, electronic music, discussion, screenings, and performances.

Andrew Pierre Hart: Bio-Data Flows and Other Rhythms – A Local Story will run from 15 February until 7 July at the Whitechapel Gallery.