Phil Coy Swete Brethe
Dominus Real Estate
Length 8 min read
  • Dominus Real Estate
  • Dominus Real Estate
  • Dominus Real Estate

14 October – 28 November 2021

Offsite at United States Embassy (Stop D), Nine Elms, London SW8 5DF and online at

Dominvs group is pleased to present Swete Brethe, a site-specific installation and generative sonic work by Phil Coy. Sited at the boundary line of the U.S. Embassy in Nine Elms, Wandsworth, the installation defines a square of land featuring a windsock and an anemometer, instruments for measuring wind speed and direction. The live wind speed data is transmitted to where it sonically alters a trumpet solo composed especially for the project by virtuoso jazz musician Byron Wallen. Heralding the launch of Matt’s Gallery’s new space in Nine Elms Swete Brethe borrows its title from the General Prologue to Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (1387-1400) in which the narrative is established amidst the arrival of the allegorical West Wind. The intangible nature of this invisible force, that can be felt but not seen, suggests the emblematic power of the U.S. Embassy and the change it brought to the local ecology with its relocation to Wandsworth in 2017.

Incorporating scientific instrumentation and utilitarian building materials such as tubular steel, concrete, and galvanised steel mesh fencing, Swete Brethe absorbs the language of the surrounding built environment, transmitting an evolving score for an area emerging from a construction in process. The solo trumpet draws critically on the instrument’s military history and use for bombastic grand entrances and raising of flags. The horn’s voice is disembodied, located somewhere in the ether, picking up motifs from the radical African American roots of Jazz and popular music. Wallen said, “I have always been interested in the relationship between time and mode. The Indian Raga specifies the time of day to be played. In this piece I am exploring the cyclic melodies of the lehra improvising and expanding the harmolodic dimension.”

Swete Brethe has grown out of 18 months research into Nine Elms and its specificities as a place. It builds on Coy’s work with audio as a reagent device and on his practice as a filmmaker, where the separation of sound from image is integral to the process. The project also looks to another recurring feature in his work; that of making an equivalence between physical and digital sites. Swete Brethe has been commissioned by Matt’s Gallery ahead of the opening of its new space in Nine Elms in spring 2022. The commission is funded by Bellway, in agreement with Wandsworth Council as part of their Section 106 commitments. It is presented in partnership with Dominvs group and we have especially adapted the area in order to facilitate this temporary installation. Matt’s Gallery is supported by Arts Council England.

Notes to editors

Phil Coy is an artist and filmmaker working across a range of media, collaging concepts rooted in the radical art and literature of the 20th century, with languages and architectures of contemporary global commerce. Works often incorporate research into sites and archives, resulting in collaboration with specific communities, architects, software developers, musicians and scientists. He has shown extensively at galleries, film festivals and for site-specific and public commissions in the UK and internationally.

Swete Brethe is typical of this close attention to specifics of location, seen first in his series of 1:1 reproductions of satellite data on the ground, such as a walk in the park, Central Park, New York (2000) to provincial landscape, Laito, Finland (2007). It also draws on his generative and expanded film scores; Grain, Estuary (2021); Devotion gradient, Focal Point Gallery / BFI London Film Festival, (2015); Test signal, South London Gallery (2006), and choral promenade performances scored directly from the material qualities of the architecture through which they pass; Material choir, Siobhan Davies Studios (2013). Phil Coy lives and works between London and Ramsgate. Byron Wallen is was born in London, England in 1969 while the Apollo 11 crew were on their way to the moon. His first major work, Tarot Suite, (1994) was inspired by a love of mythology and symbolism. His study of cognitive psychology aided his transition towards conceptualizing music as a medium for healing. Widely recognized as a seminal figure in Jazz, he has written and produced original scores for Science Museum; PRS, The BBC, Southbank Centre, National Theatre and Arts Council, and soundscapes for Universal Pictures, Warner Bros and Game of Thrones.

Byron Wallen received the BBC Jazz Innovation award (2003) and has been nominated several times for the MOBO award, he received the Paul Hamlyn Award (2017), his band Four Corners was nominated as best band at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2020, and his album “Portrait” was nominated by the PJA for best album this year. Alongside other prestigious music schools, Wallen teaches at World Heart Beat who will soon become neighbours of Matt’s Gallery in Nine Elms. Matt’s Gallery is one of the UK’s leading contemporary art galleries. It has supported the making of new and innovative work since its foundation in 1979. During this time, it has been an independent and influential force in the visual arts sector, both nationally and internationally, championing the careers of artists such as Willie Doherty, Benedict Drew, Jimmie Durham, Susan Hiller, Mike Nelson, Nathaniel Mellors, Lindsay Seers, Tai Shani, Marianna Simnett and Imogen Stidworthy.

Matt’s Gallery exists to give artists the time, space and support they need to take risks, test their limits and surprise even their own intentions. They provide the best conditions for experiencing art and challenging audiences. They work with artists at key moments in their development, at all stages of their careers. In 2014, founder and director Robin Klassnik was awarded an OBE in recognition of his contribution to contemporary art. Since 2016 Matt’s Gallery has resided in temporary spaces in Bermondsey whilst the gallery prepares to move to its new space in Nine Elms. Matt’s Gallery is a registered charity and an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

Dominvs group is a privately owned real estate-led group that focuses on the residential and mixed-use sectors across London and the wider UK. Founded in 2011, alongside Dominvs group in Action, the Group’s internal social value unit which identifies social value opportunities by working closely with local businesses and stakeholders to spearhead projects to support local causes, provide job opportunities, develop neighbourhood activities, and promote local businesses. Our core portfolio already has a strong mix of opportunities including 344 operational hotel keys across two assets; 1,718 hotel keys in development across five schemes; 411 residential units in planning and development and 2,608 PBSA beds in planning across several schemes across London and the UK.

The Nine Elms part of Wandsworth is an innovative mixed-use district on the Thames in central London with a rich industrial and horticultural heritage. As part of the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea opportunity area, it is undergoing rapid transformation with two new Northern line stations at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms, the creation of 20,000 homes and 25,000 postconstruction jobs. Apple is moving its London campus into Battersea Power Station in 2022, further enhancing the area’s reputation for creative and digital industries. A vibrant cultural programme of events, exhibitions and installations is being delivered by Wandsworth Council alongside new cultural spaces opening up in Nine Elms including Matt’s Gallery, World Heart Beat, Theatre 503 and Chocolate Films. Recent events such as Light Up Nine Elms, Art Night and community festivals attracted thousands of residents and visitors from across London.

Follow their progress on Twitter @NineElmsTeam, Instagram @NineElmsLondon, Facebook @NineElmsLondon or find out what there is to see and do at

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