World Boxing News
23 May 2012
FORMAN’S SMOKEHOUSE GALLERY PRESENTS
In the Rings with Ali
A retrospective exhibition during the London 2012 Olympics to celebrate the 70th birthday of Muhammad Ali
19th July private view; 2nd private view date at start of Paralympics to be confirmed
Gallery open to public from 20th–26th July, 13th–28th August,
Thu, Fri 5–9pm; Sat, Sun 12–5pm
Gallery open at other times for hospitality events
Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali is the world’s all-time favourite Olympian. Since 1960, when he won a gold in Rome, through 1996 when he managed with shaking hands to light the Olympic Cauldron in Atlanta, he has been a symbol of all that is inspirational and heroic about the event.
In 2012, to mark Ali’s 70th birthday, a major exhibition is being held at Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery, overlooking the main Olympic stadium. Photographs and paintings of Ali at different stages of his life will be shown alongside audio and video installations, poetry and memorabilia, recording not just his contribution to sport but also his extraordinary humanitarian work through the decades.
• The opening private view on 19th July will bring together leading members of the British, American and Dutch Olympic teams, with boxing particularly well represented, as well as many celebrities, some of whom are associated with Ali’s charities.
• Ali’s brother, Rahaman Ali, will be flying over from the US to attend, and on the 20th he will be one of the runners carrying the Olympic torch in Guildford.
• The exhibition organizers and sponsors are teaming up with ex-boxers Oliver Wilson (British Light Middle,Middleweight and Henry Cooper Golden Belt Champion) and Rod Douglas (British Light Middle and
Middleweight) to deliver “The Muhammad Ali Outreach Programme”, which will work with deserving young boxers from Holland and England. Together with Rahaman Ali and young people from the local community, they will present a non-contact boxing extravaganza at the Private View on the 19th July and in Guildford on 20th.
• All artworks at the “In the Rings with Ali” exhibition will be for sale and a percentage of the profits will be donated to Amnesty International, Parkinson’s Research, and to a local boxing club in East London.
• Forman’s Smokehouse, the closest venue to the Olympic site, has a stunning new gallery space that has already hosted several successful exhibitions. As the name suggests, they produce some mouth-watering smoked salmon, and have a gourmet restaurant and bars overlooking the main Olympics stadium.
All events will be designed to promote Ali’s inspirational philosophies:
(ALI 063) September 15, 1978Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World for an unprecedented third time. This feat stands today, having never been accomplished before or since. Champ was triumphantly raised on shoulders but there was this sadness in his eyes, as he kissed and waved the ending of his legendary career. (Picture by Michael Gaffney from THE CHAMP – My Year With Muhammad Ali)
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: a desire, a dream, a vision.”
About Muhammad Ali:
Three times world heavyweight champion, self-proclaimed “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali was never less than entertaining as a fighter. There were his pre-fight insults to opponents delivered in rhyming couplets, his unorthodox fighting style – which he described as “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” – and his homespun, inspirational views on life.
For the last 25 years, despite suffering increasing physical disability associated with Parkinson’s Syndrome, Ali has worked tirelessly for the humanitarian causes he believes in, including relief of poverty, education, adoption, race relations, and encouraging people of all races to understand and respect each other.
• Ali has helped to provide 232 million meals to those suffering food poverty, and has hand-delivered food and medical supplies to needy communities in Asia, Africa and North and South America.
• He is the international ambassador of Jubilee 2000, a global organization dedicated to relieving debt in developing nations.
• He has raised millions of dollars for research into Parkinson’s Disease.
• Ali has been a peace campaigner since the 1960s, when he refused to fight in Vietnam, and he continues to fight for peace to this day.
• In the 1960s he worked alongside black activists to try to end race discrimination in the US, and he remains an ambassador for race relations under Obama’s administration.
• Former President Jimmy Carter called Ali “Mr International Friendship” and in 2005 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
• Amnesty International have given him their Lifetime Achievement Award and the Secretary-General of the UN bestowed him with the citation United Nations Messenger of Peace.
No other sportsman has done so much, in so many areas, while fighting severe progressive illness, but as Ali says:
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
|Picture by Christina Jansen
About the exhibition:
Photographers and artists showing their work at “In the Rings with Ali” will include Ken Regan, Dave King, Sonia Katchian, Chris Smith, Neil Leiffer, Michael Gaffney, Neil Kenlock, Christina Jansen, Chris Gollon, Melissa Gordon, Roberto Robanne and Duncan MacAskill. It is estimated that 1,200 visitors a day will visit the gallery.
“In the Rings with Ali” is the brainchild of Dutch photographer Christina Jansen, who first met and photographed Ali in 1986. She lives in London, working as a portrait photographer in music, film and advertising. It has taken two years to bring together the leading world artists and photographers who are exhibiting at this event and get it off the ground. Christina is project leader of the venture. www.cjansenphotography.com
Sandra Higgins, the curator of “In the Rings with Ali”, is an experienced Independent Art Advisor and Curator and as such represents many artists internationally. She has curated a number of special exhibitions for clients in England, France and the United States. She exhibits artists annually at international art fairs and organises frequent ‘pop-up’ venues for exhibitions in alternative spaces such as corporate headquarters, retail shops and private clubs.www.sandrahiggins.com
Artsinform, the PR, marketing and communications team behind “In the Rings with Ali”, have been working on major exhibitions in London for over 15 years. They have promoted exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery, the Fine Art Society and the Science Museum, and worked for the UK’s top art fairs, such as Masterpiece and 20/21 British Art Fair.http://www.artsinform.com
Lance Forman, the owner of Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery, was enthusiastic about the exhibition from the first, and as well as allowing use of the exhibition space he has agreed to be one of the event sponsors.http://smokehousegallery.org
The Dutch Embassy are among the exhibition sponsors, as part of a programme to promote social inclusion through art and sport.
For further information please contact:
Christina Jansen: firstname.lastname@example.org 07973 677760
Sandra Higgins: email@example.com 07721 741107
Artsinform (Jessica Wood): firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7403 4482
The Muhammad Ali Outreach Programme: email@example.com www.boxinginclusionzone.com
“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” - Muhammad Ali