garden of souls – curated by tatiana de stempel, Liza Burton & Jessica Wan
50 Celebration Avenue Stratford London E20 1DB
Open 1st December – 8th January 2024
Thursday – Sunday 12 – 6pm
Kindly supported by Get Living and East Village London
Madi Acharya-Baskerville, Cecilia Bengolea, Sophie Mei Birkin, Xenia Bond, Lottie McCarthy, Stephanie Douet, Miss Candy Floss, Serena Huang, Seulgi Lee Kang, Yuliya V. Krylova, Lisa Chang Lee, Portia Lee, Hannah Lees, Martha Orbach, Yeu-Lai Mo, Raksha Patel, Tatiana de Stempel, Paula Turmina, Rosalie Wammes, Faye Wei Wei, Lulu Wang, Funa Ye.
Garden of Souls features women and non-binary artists whose work addresses conversations around the need for action amidst the social and climate crisis.Bringing together artists from different backgrounds and generations,this group exhibition presents painting, performance, film, textile, sculpture and installation works seen from a feminist perspective.Comprised of a series of performance, art and story-telling workshops, the public programme explores the ways in which material culture and collective expression intersect, inviting participants to make and create works on site, for example, there will be ‘still life’ sculpture using recycled food waste donated by retail store and a plant workshop.
The exhibition is funded by Arts Council England and hosted by Hypha Studios in collaboration with Get Living in Stratford.Formerly a large Sainsbury’s factory, the building acts as a metaphor for food scarcity,which is an ever prominent consequence of environmental changes.The exhibited artworks explore ecosystems in practical, material and visual practices, through things that are familiar and haptic, such as cotton, earth and food. How can collective pleasure, desire and joy — our emotions and senses, play a critical role in our resistance against climate change? Garden of Souls invites you to imagine a sustainable future through the power of art.
Tatiana de Stempel says:“Artists are leading the way in conversations that are curious in reimagining how we live in the context of the climate emergency.Audiences are experiencing new ways of imagining the world, their place in it and their relationship with the environment”.
As climate activist, Tori Tsui, tweets:“I think the beautiful thing about climate action is that everyone has a role, whatever that looks like to you.So many people are afraid of not being good enough, but right now we need everyone, imperfectly.”
All workshops are free, booking is essential through Eventbrite.
The Great Imagining will host an interactive, participatory display board about Climate change throughout the exhibition.
30/11/2023 PLANKTON – Portia Lee Performance – 7pm
Presented by co-curator Jessica Wan.Plankton is a 20-minute performance that combines choreography, music, and installations.The installation will feature a large air model jellyfish connected to small sculptures of marine organisms as the visual theme. The performance will involve Portia and dancer Erin, interpreting post-choreography dance.
02/12/2023 – Plant Workshop – 1pm-4pm
Presented by co-curator Liza Burton and led by artist Martha Orbach. Young people (ages 7-11) will collaborate to make a free standing structure made of locally scavenged materials and domestic debris such as flotsam, jetsam and biomaterials. The artwork made in the workshop will become part of the exhibition
03/12/2023 – Climate Change Talk – 12-1pm
Moderated by co-curator Jessica Wan, the conversation invites artist Sophie Mei Birkin and a climate activist. This event will be accompanied by a BLS translator, hearing impaired people welcome.
Making a Food Sculpture Workshop – 1- 4pm
Presented by co-curator Tatiana de Stempel, lead by artists Xenia Bond and Faye Wei Wei for secondary school children aged 11 – 18, their families and the wider community, sharing recipes and family stories.We will create a food sculpture that will be eaten in a shared community meal. We will discuss where food comes from, sharing recipes, oral histories & cultural memories. The workshop will be filmed and screened during the exhibition.
9/12/2023 – Documentary Filmmaking with Elam Forrester – 1- 4 pm
Elam is the assistant Cinematographer & Graphics Editor for the award winning documentary, and Channel 4 feature film ‘Rocks’. For Secondary School Children aged 11 – 18. Films made in the workshop will be screened during the exhibition.
16/12/2023 – Storytelling In the Pantomime Tradition – 2- 4pm Written by Miss Candy Floss on the theme of exploitation of food resources, for children of all ages, with Illustrations by Tatiana de Stempel. Children must be accompanied by adults. Miss Candy Floss has been hosting ‘Sing Along to the Sound Music’ at the Prince Charles Cinema for 20 years.
17/12/2023 Making a Den with Lottie McCarthy – 1- 4pm.
Lottie McCarthy creates proudly mad, beautifully bonkers spaces, objects, and experiences which draw on her lived experience of mental health disability and neurodivergence. Lottie McCarthy will lead the building of a den/‘comfort zone’ workshop for solace with deaf people, students & public, which will form part of the exhibition.
6/01/2024 – Drawing Talisman on Rice paper with Yeu-Lai Mo – 12-1pm.
Presented by co-curator Jessica Wan.Talismans, nicknamed as lucky charms on rice paper are used to ward off bad spirits or to seek good luck, peace and prosperity, especially at the beginning of a New Year.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Liza Burton (@l__rburton) is an independent writer and curator who works with emerging and mid-career artists, often in non-traditional gallery settings. She uses ‘the curatorial’ to re-examine how emotions and vulnerability can be understood, and how the affective labour of artists and curators is valued under patriarchal and capitalist structures.
Tatiana de Stempel (@tatiana_e_v_de_stempel) is an artist and curator with twenty years experience of exhibiting and putting on cultural event s.She has worked for seventeen years as a lecturer at Central Saint Martins teaching on Foundation and BA.Tatiana has exhibited in the UK, USA, India and China.
Jessica Wan (@jesswan___) is a curator and writer. Her recent curatorial research focuses on visual artists who engage with ecology, diaspora, feminism and contemporary non-western practice. She has lectured and facilitated workshops at Chelsea College of Arts, Tate and TrAIN.
The Great Imagining /House of Fairy Tales (@thegreatimagining) creates educational experiences for young people as an arts and education charity working in partnership with over 50 institutions including the National Trust, Tate Modern and Edinburgh Arts Festival.
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