The London Biennale & DAD


David Medalla died on the 28th December 2020.

A beautiful spirit and a great artist who cherished the artist in all he met.  He leaves a vast web of interconnections of those who got to know each other through him. He blessed and loved and lived – sad to imagine a world without him 🖤(Joanna Jones)

RIP David Medalla. I remember him staying in my house to edit a film and feeling what a great privilege that was. I felt very trusted. (Clare Smith)

It was on the boat trip to Robben Island that I conceived of the idea of the London Biennale. I discussed the idea with Adam Nankervis on our way back to Cape Town. We continued discussing the idea when we got back to Berlin….. I thought it was time to create a viable and memorable platform for the world’s ‘marginal artists’, and that, initially, was the inspiration for the LONDON BIENNALE, a biennale that would be open to every artist regardless of age, sex, ethnic origin, and artistic language or style. (David Medalla, Founder of the London Biennale)

David Medalla introduced so many artists to other artists, it was key to his being to bring artists together. I had first met David Medalla in the early 70’s with performance artist and poet Carlyle Ready and in 2004 with Jill Rock and Alma Tischlerwood was part of a London Biennale pollination at the Institute of physics. This is where I first met Clare Smith and discovered that we were both living in Dover. The meeting went on to develop into the friendship that manifested in Dover Arts Development (DAD) in 2006. Without David Medalla and the London Biennale one has to ask: whether there would be a Dover Arts Development?. (Joanna Jones)

I got involved in the London Biennale in 2004 on graduating and met Jill Rock at Soho Square. I had no idea what I was getting into…. But she said I must get in touch with Joanna Jones who I finally met at the Institute of Physics – she had a piece of work in Jill’s show and when she walked in someone said to her “there’s another artist from Dover here.” I think she was totally shocked. This turned out to be a momentous meeting and led to the formation of Dover Arts Development and an enduring and rich friendship as well as empathetic and critical guidance and encouragement regarding my practice. (Clare Smith)

Clare and Joanna organised London Biennale pollinations in Dover in 2007 and in 2008 & 2012 together with Alma Tischlerwood. They participated in the London Biennale in: