Art For Silchester (2018-20)
Silchester Residents Association invited me back to work as artist in residence on the estate in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. For two years I ran art workshops for over 100 participants that included drawings, ceramics, creative writing, and book making.
We held an exhibition for Estate Open Weekend on 30 June and 31 July 2018.
And with a Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea arts grant, we have just published a project book.
It can be viewed here: Art For Silchester book.
Monica and Aaliyah, participants in the project:
We have really enjoyed attending the sessions. Not only has it opened up our creative side, that I didn’t realise I had, but it also brought us together; so many people from the local area, that I would not have met otherwise. Out of the tragedy of Grenfell we have been united through clay. And our work represents it.
Washing Dirty Linen In Public (2019)
A performance-based guided walk and exhibition about women's labour and activism in North Kensington.
Telling the story of laundresses and wash houses from 1860-1970.
Commissioned by Serpentine Galleries as part of Hito Steyerl's Power Plants exhibition.
A 40 minute film of the performance will be screened at Portobello Film Festival 2019.
Blog post: To marry an ironer is as good as a fortune!
Flora Cornish: I loved the walk and performances and social history and artworks yesterday!
After building the sense of layers of history and continuity, to find there were women
in the room from the laundry campaign and hear from them was the icing on the cake!
The Melodramatic Elephant in the Haunted Castle (2017)
An Arts Council England funded projected about a Victorian actress and the 147 year old Coronet theatre in the Elephant and Castle. I researched and devised the project with John Whelan. We staged a play at the Coronet with People's Company and produced an art exhibition.
Charlene: "The creative imagination of all involved in this wonderful project for the Coronet, inspired within me the need to petition and advocate for those without a voice. The work beautifully encapsulates a multilateral web of issues from mental health to the loss of our rich history as regeneration rises up to consume the memories of old."
Open Estate Weekend Art Event (2016)
The Open Garden estate weekend was organised by Silchester Residents Association and Constantine Gras. It had funding and support from Architects for Social Housing, RBKC council and InTRANSIT festival of arts.
The event took place on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 JUNE 2016. The aim was to celebrate community and cultural life, architecture and garden spaces at both Silchester and Lancaster West estate. The former estate is being considered for regeneration by RBKC council.
Centre stage was a 1:100 scale model of Silchester estate made by Michael Jardine, Nahid Ashby and Constantine Gras. This was a wonderful way of visualising the estate and the potential impacts of regeneration.
In addition to art made by residents, we had a film programme and guided walks.
Sandra Crisp: "Really interesting tour of local hidden gardens and architecture."
Simon Elmer: "Wonderful exhibition. Great art work with children giving voice to a strong community."
Lancaster West Estate Artist in Residence (2015-16)
This was an 8 month residency on Lancaster West estate working with children in making 4 large scale drawings. I also made a film about life on the estate, how residents are concerned about regeneration and their hopes for the future.
Fatima Al Hajar, resident of Lancaster West estate:
"It is a very good idea to let the children of Lancaster West estate draw the place where they live and how they see it. Elias, Mum and Samar enjoyed drawing buildings very much. "
Between Heaven and Earth (2002)
Photo collage of The Cemetery Road, 2002.
An exhibition of paintings and photographs, 18 Feb - 16 March 2002
The Artists Gallery, Willesden Green Library Centre, NW10
In the beginning was the word. But what if that word fails to provide comfort and joy. What can we look for? Perhaps imagery (the act of looking-seeing-believing) can act as a power of revelation. My interest in this exhibition is to take the viewer on a spiritual journey through space and time, real and imagined, via the mediums of paint and film.
Between word and image, heaven and earth
Let us consider the significance of shooting stars and fiery angels.
The erotic fantasy life of clouds.
Plants that are a tad potty.
Butterfly wings that cause a hurricane.
Between our philosophical concepts of heaven and earth,
Much more can be dreamt of.
The centre piece of the exhibition and at journey's end is a road that was built in Kensal Green cemetery in 2001. I have photographically reconstructed this in the gallery.The foundation of the road was made up of rubble from demolished houses and includes human artefacts ranging from a comb to y-fronts. What was once so essential to domesticity, now forms a hidden layer of a road in a cemetery.
Reviews of the exhibition:
Daniel Patino: Very interesting seeing daily objects from a different perspective.
Susan Austin: Congratulations! An exhibition which shows thought and inspiration in equal measure.
Wilber Downer: Avoiding the cliches with some great ideas.