Banner is series of vinyl hangings for public spaces. Based on research of public play spaces and the work of playground architect Aldo van Eyck a proponent of flexible structures ‘not tied down to a particular function’ which provide users with ‘the means of discovering things for themselves’.
Each banner has a circular aperture, cut by a group of people with an association to the space in which it is placed. The banner acts as a framing device and a point of transformation for play and communication. The structures are rehung periodically, forming hammocks or shelters, stages or doors, the hole at their centre offering an alternative view of a familiar space.
The project has involved discussion with a core group of advisors from each location including:
David Ogwe, staff, children and young people at Oasis Play, Sarah Coffils, Laura Wilson, Art Assassins and Tiny Rebels With Attitude at SLG and the George Shearing Centre for young people with severe learning disabilities and complex needs.
Commissioned by South London Gallery, Oasis Venture + Battersea Arts Centre as part of the Making Routes programme. Banner has since travelled to Peninsula Arts, Plymouth and the Sidney Nolan Trust.
Tasseography: Future Tea Research project and event
Future Tea is an ongoing exploration into local plant traditions and tasseography, commonly known as tea reading. The project has involved discussion with local horticulturalists, gardeners and allotment owners as well as curators, school children and the team from Thrive to locate and harvest plants traditionally used to make tea.
The project aims to unite past and present through the gathering and brewing of herbal tea, offering an opportunity to pause, drink, share conversation and consider alternative futures in our time pressured century.
The project included an event held in Pump House Pavillion using plant specimens local to Pump House Gallery and Battersea Park, in particular lavender, which was historically farmed on the site and roses which are planted in the park’s Summer Garden.
Tasseography: Future Tea was commissioned by Pump House Gallery, in partnership with Nine Elms, London and Chelsea Fringe. Future Tea was developed from an original residency for Whitechapel.
Psittacula Krameri Central Venture Park, Peckham 2017 – present
Psittacula Krameri is a shelter, meeting and play space designed in collaboration with local users of Central Venture Park. The aim of the project was to open up a a conversation about access and belonging in public space. Psittacula krameri, are members of the parrot family better known as ring-necked or rose-ringed parakeets, a non native species whose presence in London parks have caused much debate.
A temporary studio was set up in the main building for residents to engage with the design process, share their views and experiment with materials. Over a six-month period two school groups took part in a series of workshops, a community celebration day was held and a month’s artist residency took place.
The sail-like structure functions as a gathering point, has a range of fittings and fixtures to allow flags to be flown and play and craft activities to take place. Funding is being sought to continue the development of the Psittacula Krameri.
The Stack + The Circle are collaborative builds produced as part of a project with National Trust Rangers, volunteers and a local family group. They form part of a heritage trail in the grounds of Saltram House charting the history of the site and drawing parallels between the relationship between land ownership and power, in the 1800’s and today.
The Stack or Holzhausen is a traditional method of storing wood which differs significantly from a regular woodpile because different types and sizes of material can be incorporated, from sticks to stumps, without having to be carefully selected and placed. As such it lends itself to a collective build. In contrast the house-like form of the stack which is built invites visitors to circumnavigate the structure in search of a door, only to discover there is no way in.
As an act of assertion members of Crazy Glue sourced ingredients from around the estate and developed a magenta dye from elderberries. The dye was then painted on the cut ends of the logs as a colourful power grab increasing the sculpture’s misplaced presence in the otherwise ‘natural’ landscape, casting it as a bright pink oddity.
A series of logs were installed in a circle with the same footprint as the stack, functioning as The Stack’s opposite with an invitation to enter, to sit and discuss. A series of workshops and discussions were developed for The Circle.
With thanks to Take A Part’s ‘Crazy Glue’, Nick Allison Outdoor Manager and Bob Mayer, Woods Team.
Good Hope flag weave, eyelets, rope 2015 – 16
Good Hope is a series of flags and events produced for Plymouth Hoe Gardens over the course of a year. The project takes inspiration from a bag of Cape of Good Hope stamps, bought by Plymouth businessman Edward Stanley Gibbons from sailors in the 1860’s. The stamps were unusually valuable and enabled him to establish himself; an unexpected change of circumstance that boosted his self belief.
Based on traditional flags, the designs were arrived at through engagement with a variety of groups including gardeners, local residents and school children. Local flag makers were engaged to produce the flags which were sewn and made from flag weave. With each flag raising an event was organised by the participants their hopes and beliefs.
A mark that moves reinforced acrylic sheet, posts 14m x 1m 2015 – 16
One of the problems of the Hoe Garden site is its inaccessibility. To counter this, A mark that moves, a fourteen-metre reflective board was installed to the rear of the space mirroring the surrounding environment. In this way visitors may be seen to enter the gardens, which are ordinarily locked. Nearby landmarks can be glimpsed in its surface and become transient features of the garden as viewers move around the site.
Good Hope was commissioned by Plymouth City Council and supported by Plymouth Culture, Arts Council England, Plymouth Arts Centre and the Hoe Conservation and Residents Association
The rake, the dancer, sets up a conversation between a print of a rake, suspended, resting as if hung on a garden wall and a pair of handmade windbreaks. Produced after a research residency in Tokyo spent observing grounds people taking care of Yoyogi Park.
The windbreaks’ swathes of cloth like dancers dresses, point wooden toes in invitation.
A LOOP, A HOOP was a residency based between Smithy Street School and the Whitechapel gallery in a six-week journey to explore the history of the local area and experiment with time, space and order.
The project was informed by research at Tower Hamlet Local Archives where Victorian maps showed the school was built on the site of a parchment works and bindery. The project began at Smithy Street and ended at Aldgate Press next to the Whitechapel Gallery. Along the way stories were told, CMYK bagels were baked and Fireweed was gathered from the school playground to brew Future Tea.
A folded publication printed at Aldgate Press, A Loop, A Hoop charts the project's evolution.
Download a PDF version here:
A Loop, A Hoop
This project was commissioned by Whitechapel Gallery and supported by Stavros Niarchos Foundation
An Invitation was a one day live art event based outside the original CLR James Library, Dalston.
A group of 16-25 year-olds from Whitechapel Gallery’s Young People’s Programme provided passers by with a selection of texts by CLR James, a loudspeaker, reading chair and an invitation to sit, stand, read and discuss his work.
The project explored free speech and thinking as part of a week long Summer Academy. The group visited an anarchist bookshop, a co-operative press, Speaker’s Corner, and the new CLR James Library. On discovering there were no books available in the new library written by its namesake the group developed An Invitation, a temporary public artwork outside the library.
An Invitation was commissioned as part of Elmgreen & Dragset’s A Monument to Youth as part of the Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project
COSMIC PHARMACY Schools project South London Gallery
Cosmic Pharmacy explored the materials and methods of Rashid Johnson.
Working with musician Babak Ganjei and Year 4-6 classes from four primary schools to hijack domestic products, record and produce a CD of chants and created paper peace plants for the exhibition Cosmic Pharmacy.
Each of the school groups involved were invited to visit the Cosmic Pharmacy at South London Gallery, which re-contextualized their work, and every participant received a copy of a CD of the chants and stories produced during the project.
This project was supported by the Great Art Quest and South London Gallery