Bexhill Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair set to return in 2022

The Bexhill Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair, an important fixture in the local jobs and skills calendar, is set to return to the De La Warr Pavilion on Friday 25 March 2022. Exhibitor registration is now open and local businesses and organisations are encouraged to register ahead of the 4 February deadline.

The last event, held in 2020, attracted over 500 visitors and exhibitor feedback included ‘A really good selection of potential candidates’, ‘Lots of appointment slots filled’ and ‘Valuable for enticing people to Open Day’.

Huw Merriman, MP, said ‘The Bexhill Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair is invaluable for local employers, colleges and skills development organisations looking to recruit and great for raising awareness and networking.  For 2022, we’re keen to include a wide range of opportunities across sectors including Construction, Tourism & Leisure, Hospitality, Retail, Transport, Digital, Manufacturing, Engineering, the Creative Industries, Land-based, the Green economy and Health & Social Care.

The event is always over-subscribed so we would urge anyone interested in exhibiting to register early to avoid missing out.’

Stewart Drew, Director & CEO, De La Warr Pavilion, said ‘We’re delighted the Bexhill Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair will be back at DLWP in 2022. It’s a fantastic event where the whole community, particularly our young people, can explore the best employment and skills development opportunities the local area has to offer.’

Due to ongoing operational and scheduling pressures as a result of the longer term impact of the pandemic, the 2022 event will run from 11am to 3pm and include a maximum of 20 exhibitor spaces. As a not-for-profit community-led initiative, the fair will continue to be free to exhibit at but exhibitors will be selected based on criteria including live opportunities available and a £100 refundable deposit will be payable.

The Bexhill Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair is on Friday 25 March 2022, 11am – 3pm at the De La Warr Pavilion. Register to exhibit by Friday 4 February 2022.

 

END

 

Dreams; A poem by Rachel Marsh

Have you ever had any dreams before?

The ones where there are no closed doors to happiness.

Where everything you wish for comes true,

and the sea you swim in is a fairytale shade of blue.

 

The dreams where we fly to a world of our own,

where we sit in a heavenly garden we’ve grown.

A pier that sits in the sky instead of the sea

when the lights of the city were far below me.

 

The dreams where we can see loved ones we’ve lost,

and every Christmas has a perfect white winter frost.

Where the sea has no plastic and the water is pure,

and we feel independent, safe and secure.

 

But the nightmares can creep in, disturbing our dreams.

Where everything we love falls apart at the seams.

Hearts can be broken, and we feel fear and pain,

and the unkind words are repeating again.

 

But we cannot allow nightmares to ruin our day.

Let’s remember the dreams where the fear goes away.

The dreams that remind us of how strong we are,

let’s keep them in a dreamcatcher memory jar.

 

ROOTED BEINGS

Wellcome Collection

24 March – 29 August 2022

 

In February 2022, Wellcome Collection opens Rooted Beings, a major new exhibition reimagining our relationship with plants and fungi.

De La Warr Pavilion, Wellcome Collection and West Dean College are currently working with interdisciplinary designers RESOLVE on a major new commission, ‘Re-wilding: Coast, Countryside, City’. Making use of the rich resources and histories at each partner site, RESOLVE are investigating humanity’s entangled relationship with the vegetal world, inviting new perspectives on environmentalism and re/wilding, long-term thinking, and practical solutions to living equitably with others and with nature. By researching new and ancient approaches to land use while on residency at West Dean College they will use this knowledge and build collaborations with young people in Bexhill and London to create a new commission for inclusion in Wellcome Collection’s Rooted Beings exhibition in March 2022, and a solo exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion in May 2022. You can read more about RESOLVE and the new commission in our recent post here.

As the current environmental crisis exposes the vital yet fragile connections between human and planetary health, this exhibition will present plants as so much more than simply a resource for human consumption, tools or even decoration. Through new artists commissions as well as botanical specimens and historic works, it will explore what we can learn from plant behaviour as we rethink the significance of these ancient, complex, and sensitive beings. Rooted Beings while encourage us to rethink the way we see plants and embrace wildness in our lifes, landscapes and hearts.

The theme of colonial violence and indigenous knowledges takes as a starting point the botanical specimens and information brought to Europe from Latin America in the 18th and 19th centuries during the scientific expeditions and housed in the archives of Wellcome Collection and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This period saw an unprecedented moment of global expansion in knowledge, trade and industrialisation, which happened at the expense of indigenous cultures being erased and ecosystems destroyed. Both artists’ works demand a move beyond this instrumental approach to the living world, instead reasserting the role of plants in nurturing our ecosystems and our imagination.

Patricia Domínguez‘s new commission Matrix Vegetal, produced in collaboration with Delfina Foundation, will bring together experimental research on ethnobotany (the study of how people from particular areas or cultures use indigenous plants), healing practices, and the commercialisation of wellbeing. The installation will feature five futuristic totems displaying botanical reproductions from Wellcome’s collection and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, honouring the narratives of violence and healing embodied by the displayed material.

Joseca, a Yanomami artist from the Amazon rainforest, produces detailed drawings that combine images of shamanic plant spirits, summoned to restore health and fight off disease, with scenes from daily life in the forest. Joseca’s drawings from the collection of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain (Paris) illustrate the significance of trees as central to the ecosystem that supports human and non-human life.

Simultaneously, installations by Eduardo Navarro, Gözde Ilki, Ingela Ihrman, explore the theme of symbiosis and what can be learnt from plant behaviour and our complex interdependence with the vegetal world. Eduardo Navarro‘s commission The Photosynthetics comprises a series of drawings on biodegradable paper envelopes containing the seeds of London plane trees that, after the exhibition closes, will be returned to the soil activating the seeds within. In collaboration with philosopher Michael Marder, Navarro has produced a series of instructions showing how to experience the exhibition as a plant, inviting us to embark on a journey towards vegetal enlightenment.

Meanwhile Gözde Ilkin will present As the roots spoke, the cracks deepened, a series of hand–sewn textiles expanding her interest in plant intelligence and interspecies symbiosis creating visions that transcend human, animal and plant categories; and Ingela Ihrman’s A Great Seaweed Day, inspired by the artist’s love of swimming in the sea will propose a deep connection between the ecosystems of the oceans and the human bodies. The seaweed sculptures suggest links between her intestinal flora and marine flora. Ihrman will also present The Passion Flower, a costume activated by the artist in a performance where the audience pollinated the plant by drinking ‘ nectar’ from the flower, an act of intimacy and attraction.

Some key highlight historical objects include: a 19th Century textile depicting Jambūdvīpa, the central continent of the middle world in Jain cosmology; illustrations from John Ernest Weavers’ The Ecological Relations of Roots; and an Egyptian papyrus from 400AD thought to be the earliest fragment in existence of an illustrated herbal for medical purposes.

Finally, the theme of wilding encourages us to break down the artificial wall between nature and culture to ‘rewild’ our land and our minds through new commissions by Sop and RESOLVE Collective.

Artist Sop returns to Wellcome Collection to present The Den 3, a new installation where Sop narrates the process of constructing a secret den in the wood near their house in London, as they were shielding during the Covid-19 pandemic. It reveals how their relationship with the woods chimes with their experience of illness, finding solace in the longevity of nature set against our relatively fleeting human lives. And finally, in collaboration with Wellcome Collection Youth Programme, De La Warr Pavilion and West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, RESOLVE Collective will present a new commission which will take the form of action-research programme inviting young people to think through ideas around stewardship, racialised privilege, and colonial histories in the UK countryside.

Exhibition curator Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz said:

“Rooted Beings proposes a space to meditate on our relationship with the natural world and its impact on ecosystems, our liveliness and our health. The exhibition is essentially an entanglement of collections and artists projects that invite us to embark on a meditative reflection on plant life and what we can learn from it: to be rooted, attentive, flexible and caring – to attain vegetal wisdom.”

Rooted Beings is presented at Wellcome Collection from 24 February to 29 August 2022. It is curated by Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz with Emily Sargent, and it is a collaboration between Wellcome Collection and La Casa Encendida, Madrid. Commission partners: Delfina Foundation, De La Warr Pavilion, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation.

The exhibition is accompanied by ‘This Book is a Plant: How to Grow, Learn and Radically Engage with the Natural World’, published by Wellcome Collection and Profile Books.

 

For further press information and images please contact: Juan Sánchez, Media Manager, Wellcome Collection

E: j.sanchez@wellcome.org | T: +44 207 611 8820 | W: wellcomecollection.org/press

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Visitor information

• Rooted Beings opens 24 February until 29 August 2022.
• Admission to Wellcome Collection is free.
• Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 to 18.00, closed Mondays. • Address: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road NW1 2BE

Accompanying Publication

This Book is a Plant: How to Grow, Learn and Radically Engage with the Natural World is a new Wellcome Collection title which accompanies the major exhibition Rooted Beings. We’ve become used to thinking of plants as things for us to use, as food, tools, resources, or just as an attractive background to our own lives. But it’s time to change our minds. New research shows that plants can think, plan, and may even have memories. We share our planet with beings whose potential we have only glimpsed. Featuring the writing of Robin Wall Kimmerer, Susie Orbach and Merlin Sheldrake, This Book is a Plant will be your handbook to the new reality: showing you a pathway to completely reimagine your relationship with a different kind of natural world. Delve into a world of moss and fungi: Sheila Watt-Cloutier transports us to the Arctic Spring, Sumana Roy invites us into a world of bamboo and Bengali poetry, and Rebecca Tamás puts roots down through earth and soil. This Book is a Plant is made from paper: it was once part of a tree. But it’s also a seed: the first shoots of a radical new way of seeing the world around you.

About La Casa Encendida, Madrid

La Casa Encendida, Madrid, is a social and cultural centre managed by Fundación Montemadrid, a dynamic space open to audiences of all ages and persuasions where visitors can find some of today’s most groundbreaking artistic expressions as well as educational, philosophical and debating activities that revolve around the centre’s four main spheres of action: Arts, Solidarity, Environment and Education.

About Andreas Lechthaler Architecture – Exhibition Designers

Andreas Lechthale Architecture work at the interface between art, architecture and public space. They create complementing and highly individual settings for art experiences and help artists realise their vision. Their practice works across many scales, from public space, gallery and museum design through to exhibition architecture and furniture design. All interventions are driven from a desire to create coherent, subtle and multisensory spaces that create holistic environments which allow personal interaction and a sense of wonder and unnoticed enhancement. Recent commissions include “Kusama –A Retrospective” at Gropius Bau Berlin, “Pipilotti Rist” at L.A. Moca, “The Soho Photography Quarter” for Westminster and On Happiness at Wellcome Collection.

About Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library exploring health and human experience. Its vision is to challenge how we all think and feel about health by connecting science, medicine, life and art. It offers changing curated exhibitions, museum and library collections, public events, in addition to a shop, restaurant and café. Wellcome Collection publishes books on what it means to be human, and collaborates widely to reach broad and diverse audiences, locally and globally.

Wellcome Collection actively develops and preserves collections for current and future audiences and, where possible, offers new narratives about health and the human condition. The museum and library work to engage underrepresented audiences, including deaf, disabled, neurodivergent, and racially minoritised communities.

Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome which supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. We support discovery research into life, health and wellbeing, and we’re taking on three worldwide health challenges: mental health, global heating and infectious diseases. We are a politically and financially independent foundation.

 

Social Media

Twitter: @ExploreWellcome

Instagram: @wellcomecollection

Facebook: @wellcomecollection

 

#RootedBeings

Stick Man: Drawing Competition

This award-winning production, from the team behind ZogTiddler and other Terrific Tales, and Tabby McTat features a trio of top actors and is packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves.

What starts off as a morning jog becomes quite the misadventure for Stick Man: a dog wants to play fetch with him, a swan builds a nest with him, and he even ends up on a fire! How will Stick Man ever get back to the family tree?

(c) Mark Senior

 

We are very excited to be presenting this show on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 December and to get everyone in the mood, we’ve introduced our Stick Man post box in the main foyer on the ground floor of the building. If you draw a picture of Stick Man – perhaps on a winter adventure – and post it in the box, we will show your drawing on our screens on 8 and 9 December.
Time to get drawing – and don’t forget to put your name on the back so we can credit you!

 

Don’t forget to book tickets to see the show – click here for booking.

The Big Draw Festival

The Arts Council has just announced their vision for the future of creativity and culture: Let’s Create a country transformed by culture. Bringing us together, happier, healthier. To excite, inspire, delight. To enrich our lives.

 

All of the above was evident during The Big Draw 2021 event at DLWP on Saturday 30th October, from 1pm – 5pm. The event was open to everyone for free or donation. Over the afternoon we had 110 participants! and some very generous donations. The building was buzzing with creativity! The Big Draw Festival is a worldwide celebration of drawing, which promotes the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression, and invention. Nancy Odufona and I (Sinéid Codd) made a great Lead Artist Team because we both like to work hard and have fun doing so!

We offered an assortment of imaginative activities, accessible for all ages and abilities, across a range of drawing processes – drawing digitally – cutting with scissors – tearing with our hands – drawing with sticks, chalks and pens – papercut collages. Seven is a magic number and that’s how many drawing activities we devised for visitors. All activities related to current exhibitions: Alexi Marshall Cursebreakers; Sharif Persaud Have You Ever Had and Helen Cann’s A Map Of The Sea And The De La Warr Pavilion.

In response to Alexi’s work we invited participants to bring their magic; draw and cut skulls and bones, flaming hearts, personal symbols of love and hope for all of us, and our planet. Digital selfies and colourful masks were made from looking at Sharif’s work, and Helen Cann’s map presented a marvellous opportunity for us to create ‘Making Waves’ – a participatory floor installation using cut and torn monochrome papers. A camera was set up to record the making of the sea throughout the day.

The resulting paper sea installation felt animated! It contained a multitude of  expressions in visual form – birds and sea creatures appeared amidst the waves – a poignancy and beauty as well as celebration. When all the visitors had left the building, we got together on the top floor and I choreographed the whole team in a performative tide like sweep-up of the paper sea! We are all looking forward to seeing the resulting film, which will be speeded up to show the making and unmaking!

We had great help from DLWP staff for the day’s set-up and were supported by a marvellous group of volunteers, some of who have been volunteering for 20 years! We were also supported by The Blueprint Collective, one of whom, Ren, set up an excellent digital selfie / portrait activity. Thanks also for the DLWP photographers who roamed throughout the building, catching some magic moments.

 

Huge thanks to you all and to all the visitors who took part and brought The Big Draw alive!!

Sinéid Codd

 

@sineidcodd

@nancy.odufona

Sussex Modern secures over £1M in funding for Sussex after winning UK Community Renewal Fund bid, in partnership with South Downs National Park Authority & Plumpton College

In a landmark moment for Sussex, Lewes district is to receive £719,100 in funding from the UK Community Renewal Fund, bringing the total amount of funding for the county secured by business-lead consortium Sussex Modern to over one million pounds. The project will be delivered in Lewes district with a focus on growing quality and sustainable tourism infrastructure around Newhaven and Gatwick as visitor gateways into Sussex and Global Britain.

The successful bid, put together by Sussex Modern in partnership with South Downs National Park Authority, Plumpton College and Lewes District Council will deliver a high-impact boost to Sussex’s visitor economy centred around the core themes of sustainable transport, wine, and cultural tourism. The project will use Lewes district as a pilot to develop evidence for how the entire Sussex region could compete with the likes of Napa Valley, California or Margaret River, Australia, as a world-class wine destination. A pan-Sussex steering group will ensure the research and evidence developed during this pilot is applicable across the wine area of Sussex with a view to making a multi-million-pound UK Shared Prosperity Fund bid in 2022.

While Sussex is fast becoming the centre of England’s thriving wine scene, it is also home to an abundance of cultural attractions. Sussex Modern links 39 memorable destinations and experiences across Sussex and is the essential cultural directory of art, landscape, and wine for the region. The collective boasts a wealth of contemporary cultural partners who are proud to be a part of the initiative, from the De La Warr Pavilion, Glyndebourne and Towner Eastbourne (the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020 in arts) to Tillingham, Ashling Park and Rathfinny in wines, many set amongst the breath-taking landscapes of the South Downs National Park; the official Sussex Modern landscape partner, opening the door to destinations including Firle Beacon, Cissbury Ring, Devils Dyke, and Pevensey Bay.

Building on the success of their ‘Join the Dots’ campaign, the team behind Sussex Modern have been developing the leadership around wine tourism in the county. Through the facilitation of advantageous business partnerships, creating initiatives and securing significant funding, they have set a global ambition Sussex tourism.

“With this funding and investment into key areas, local communities will benefit from quality tourism which will be a huge lift for Sussex’s post-pandemic recovery. This a momentous juncture for Sussex tourism and we’ve been working extremely hard to build this evidence-based bid. We hope that this win will lay the groundwork for future significant funding

Nathaniel Hepburn, Interim Chair of Sussex Modern and Chief Executive of Charleston.

 

This latest funding for the county builds on three other significant grants and projects which Sussex Modern has delivered in partnership with local authorities and Destination Marketing organisations in the region, including the Re-building Confidence and Demand in the Visitor Economy and Revi-VE grants, funded by South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) in partnership with Visit 1066 Country, Visit Eastbourne, East Sussex County Council, Visit Kent, Visit Essex and Southend On Sea, and Gourmet Garden Trails funded by Visit England and SELEP, delivered on behalf of East Sussex County Council and in partnership with Visit 1066 Country and Visit Eastbourne.

“The Lewes district has a cultural significance that needs promoting far more broadly than has been achieved to date. This funding can unlock that potential, creating a host of new opportunities for sustainable travel, business growth, employment, and training. My hope is that the award will put a new era of net zero-tourism in reach, and I greatly look forward to working with our partners to achieve that”

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council.

“Sussex has one of the largest collections of vineyards in the UK that produce some of the finest wines in the country, from Stopham to Wiston in my constituency of Arundle & South Downs right across to Oxney and Tillingham in Rye. These businesses have a central role to play in delivering on Global Britain’s international ambition, and this funding will help to develop an evidence base to ensure that the expansion in tourism is supported by net-zero and sustainable transport”

Andrew Griffith MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Great British Wine.

“This funding announcement is very exciting and dovetails with the National Park’s wider goals of providing outstanding experiences for communities and visitors, supported by high-quality access and sustainable transport networks. We want to establish the South Downs as an exemplar in sustainable tourism and this funding brings us one step closer to that goal. Our amazing visitor destinations and hospitality venues are part of what makes the South Downs National Park so special and it’s great to see this boost after such a difficult year for the tourism industry”

Kat Beer, Sustainable Tourism Lead for the National Park.

“This funding is hugely exciting and presents a terrific opportunity to develop sustainable transport, wine, and cultural tourism in Sussex. We look forward to working with South Downs National Park Authority, Sussex Modern, and organisations across the region to develop the business case for expansion, build an investment plan, and connect with Plumpton’s alumni around the world to create an evidence piece for future investment”

Dr David Stokes of Plumpton College.

By developing highly visible bookable art and wine itineraries, supporting business development within local hospitality sectors and rolling out sustainable transport pilots, the Community Renewal Fund will build on existing investment and undoubtedly put Sussex on the global map for tourism.

Tell The Bees; a poem by Rachel Marsh

Among the scented lavender and perfume from the rose,

and in-between the brilliant greens where blue hydrangeas grow,

I sit upon the garden steps beneath the blossom trees,

and see my spirit messengers, the soft-winged flights of bees.

 

I whisper in a gentle voice; the bees still carry on,

working through the flowers as they sing their honeyed song.

Yet even though they never stop, they take in every word.

Each crystal shimmer from their wings is proof that I am heard.

 

Tell the bees the household news of wedding dates and births,

for bees are sacred creatures and the spirits of the earth.

They watch over the garden and the home in which you live,

and a bee upon a baby’s lips means everlasting gifts.

 

Tell the bees the secrets that you hold within your heart,

for this ensures that from your home they never will depart.

And if you’ve lost a loved one and you wish to say a prayer,

the bees can visit spirit worlds and they will take it there.

 

But who do we tell our secrets to if bees are dying out?

Will they leave this changing world of rising heat and drought?

I tell the bees my worries as they fly through flower stems,

and fearing for their future world, this time I wish for them.

 

AiRM 2021: Breathing Out – Art in Romney Marsh

Art in Romney Marsh is excited to present the work of artists that have made an outstanding contribution to British Contemporary Art History. Breathing Out aims to celebrate and honour their legacy and with kind permission from respective estate representatives, we are able to present their images as large scale billboard installations in the churchyards. We are grateful to the church guardians and to Arts Council England for supporting us to achieve our ambitions. The work of these artists challenges notions of a fixed cultural identity using photography/lens based media as a tool for exploring the dynamics of private and public, personal and political, past and present. Each artist we are exhibiting has significantly contributed to the development and use of photography and film as a method of exploring the complexities of reality. The lens has historically been identified as the vehicle for truth and objectivity. These artists have expanded upon those fixed perceptions to develop the medium and explore and experiment with the conventions of documentary and portrait photography using exciting and exploratory methodologies.
All the artworks are exhibited outside and produced at large scale. Current restrictions and need for extra safety measures has created a new set of challenges. At the heart of Art in Romney Marsh is the desire to support visitors to enjoy Romney Marsh and its medieval churches through an imaginative artist-led exploration.
The AiRM visual arts festival benefits greatly by the close proximity of the churches, the sites are within a tranquil, magical and unspoilt 10 mile radius that spans across Denge marsh and Walland marsh. This area of marshland can be easily accessed by train, steam railway, road and bicycle, perfect for a day or weekend of relaxing and exploring.
Art in Romney Marsh is a registered charity and has ambitions to increase its profile on the marsh by continuing to provide creative opportunities, initiate artists residencies, build its community educational programme and to continue to work with local arts organisations such as Creative Folkestone, UCA Canterbury and Open School East, Margate. This year, we are able to support student participation by offering an internship and commission marketing and publicity
Designs. Our organisation supports environmental sustainability and low impact approaches to encourage local people to explore natural resources, gain creative skills and enjoy this unique and generous landscape.

Festival Dates:
18th, 19th, 25th and 26th September 2021
2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th October 2021

Opening times:
13:00 – 17:00
Festival Locations:
St George’s Church, Ivychurch
St Clement’s Church, Old Romney
St Mary’s, St Mary in the Marsh,
St Augustine, Brookland,
Thomas à Becket, Fairfield

Selected artists: Khadija Saye, Maud Sulter, Rotimi Fani- Kayode, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Fay Godwin

Support and thanks:
We are grateful to the National Heritage Lottery for funding to enable us to implement recovery strategies, to Kent County Council for funding us to work with consultants from Social Enterprise Kent. We want to thank Arts Council England for supporting this project and allowing us the chance to rise to the challenges we set ourselves this year. We see Breathing Out as a transition project that will help us to build our resilience and to continue as an important contributor to Kent’s growing coastal, cultural successes.

More information

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#AiRM2021

Site Line Day 4

This is our final session here. Extending and elongating the borders of the building, we walk to meet the sea, taking the building memory to the sea with our bodies and our mirrors. Our paths across the lawn and down the glittery white stone stairs.

Our circular mirrors reflect and carve the afternoon light.

The tide is going out and we catch glimpses of this ebbing away through out hand held portals. How they have become part of us.

Our feet get wet as we immerse the mirrors in the salty water.

The salt creates a new film across the glass, and they take on the appearance of underwater moons and flowers…

During this residency, the DLWP became a fantastic creative Lab, allowing us to create portals and membranes to travel through, forming new connections and language as we immersed ourselves in the body of this building and the inhabiting sculptures. Our voices took space through the camera lens of our phones, sound walks, messaging, listening and translations in space. Rich conversations evolved from rooftop to lawn and beyond… new questions surfaced. How does this building breath? How does it shift in time? Where does it believe its borders are? And we ask the same questions of ourselves…

 

PRESS RELEASE. Bassam Al-Sabah: I AM ERROR, 21 July – 19 September 2021

 

Gasworks presents the first solo exhibition in London by Belfast-based artist Bassam Al-Sabah; I AM ERROR, from 21 July to 19 September 2021. His work embraces the shape-shifting potential of computer-animated worlds, creating fantasy dreamscapes in which personal mythology, historical trauma and queer possibility intersect. Al-Sabah’s exhibition centres on a new animation film displayed in an immersive environment, combining fantasy erotica and body horror to explore questions of identity and masculinity in action-adventure video games.

In previous works, Al-Sabah reflected on geographical dislocation through reference to Japanese anime cartoons broadcast throughout the Middle East during his childhood. Packed with imagery of warfare, anime cartoons and video game culture take on a heightened political significance within Al-Sabah’s practice, whose family was exiled from Baghdad after the Iraq War.

 

The exhibition at Gasworks explores the construction of masculinity in action-adventure video games. Presented in an immersive cinematic   environment, l-Sabah’s newly commissioned CGI films confront the armouring of the male body in gaming culture by queering its military ethos from within.

The centrepiece is a 28-minute-long animation projected on to a large curved screen. It features a collection of cinematic sequences from an imaginary game in which the hero’s body is constantly in flux, undergoing metamorphoses as a result of his encounter with other lifeforms, whose physical touch makes him vulnerable to change, threatening his identity and selfhood.

 

Combining fantasy erotica and body horror, Al-Sabah’s films celebrate the hero’s growth and transformation in all its literalness, as his body sprouts and blends into its surroundings, among writhing flowers and tentacular creatures. The tactile, hyperrealistic quality of the footage contrasts with the immersive architecture of the film installation, which engulfs the viewer to induce a sense of disembodiment.

The show is punctuated by digitally sculpted objects that explore the materiality of organic decay, extending the eerie atmosphere of Al-Sabah’s animations into the gallery space.

 

Bassam Al-Sabah, I AM ERROR, 2021. Video HD, 28 min. Film still. Commissioned by Gasworks, in partnership with De La Warr Pavilion, with the generous support of the Freelands Foundation.

Bassam Al-Sabah’s exhibition is part of the Freelands Gasworks Partnership.

Gasworks commissions are supported by Catherine Petitgas and Gasworks Exhibitions Supporters.

Free admission. Address: Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall St, London SE11 5RH

For high resolution images click here or email sheena@gasworks.org.uk

Please visit gasworks.org.uk to see our covid safety measures.

 

Bassam Al-Sabah, I AM ERROR, 2021. Video HD, 28 min. Film still. Commissioned by Gasworks, in partnership with De La Warr Pavilion, with the generous support of the Freelands Foundation.

About Bassam Al-Sabah

Bassam Al-Sabah lives and works in Belfast and Dublin. He graduated from IADT Dún Laoghaire in 2016, and was awarded the RHA Graduate Studio Award (2016-2017) and the Temple Bar Gallery Residency Award (2018-2019). Recent exhibitions include RTÉ Illuminations (2020); Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (2019); The LAB, Dublin (2018); and Eight Gallery, Dublin (2017).

Al-Sabah is the fifth artist to take part in the Freelands Gasworks Partnership, a programme for emerging UK artists based outside of London. Made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Freelands Foundation, the programme combines a three-month residency with a solo exhibition, commissioned by Gasworks in partnership with the De La Warr, where a second instalment of the show will be presented in 2022.

Previous participants were Jamie Crewe, Rachal Bradley, Libita Sibungu, and Lauren Gault.

 

Bassam Al-Sabah, I AM ERROR, 2021. Video HD, 28 min. Film still. Commissioned by Gasworks, in partnership with De La Warr Pavilion, with the generous support of the Freelands Foundation.

About Gasworks

For over twenty years Gasworks has played a unique role in the contemporary visual arts sector by working at the intersection between UK and international practices and debates. It does this by providing studios for London-based artists; commissioning emerging UK-based and international artists to present their first major exhibitions in London; and developing a highly-respected international residencies programme, mainly working with artists based outside Europe and North America. All programmes are accompanied by events and participatory workshops that engage local and international audiences with artists and their work.

Gasworks is also the hub of Triangle Network, an international network of small-scale arts organisations and projects that support and disseminate the work of emerging artists through artist-led workshops, residencies, exhibitions and outreach events. Gasworks and Triangle Network are registered as a charity in the UK under ‘Triangle Arts Trust’ and all their activities are free to the public.

 

Bassam Al-Sabah, I AM ERROR, 2021. Video HD, 28 min. Film still. Commissioned by Gasworks, in partnership with De La Warr Pavilion, with the generous support of the Freelands Foundation.