‘Oral History Archive’ (DV Video) (Final Cut Duration: 6min30), HTAP, 2009   From January to May 2009, HTAP produced ten video interviews with residents from the London Borough of Hackney. Produced as an Oral History Archive. The interviews show individuals, couples, friends and families reflecting on conflict and displacement and what it means to call Hackney ‘home’.

Oral History Archive - Joyce and Elsie
Video Still: Elsie Hows and Joyce Caroll both discuss their experience during the war and the in/flux of new communities in and through Hackney. Joyce Caroll talks about staying in Hackney throughout the Blitz.
Yashar Ismailioglu
Installation shot of the ‘Oral History Archive’ first shown at ‘in/flux’ exhibition 2009. Yaşar İsmailoğlu, Hackney resident and founder of the Turkish Cypriot fine art society describes immigrating to the UK during the Greek Cypriot war.

The oral history archive was produced and edited by Marsha Bradfield, Marnie Baumer, Evan Brindle, Miriam Kings, Slade Lamey and Lucy Tomlins. The final cut was edited by Miriam Kings and Marsha Bradfield. It includes interviews with Marnie Baumer; Vivi and Rod Boucher; Joyce Carroll and Elsie Hows; Miron Farmus, Gaspar Karczewski, Tamara Lesneiwska and Joanna Lesniewska; Rui and Ines Freitas, Dino Graniello and Donaldo Figueroa, Jean Philippe Gerard, Yasar Ismailoglu, Kaday Rose Kamara and Lise Munro (otherwise known as ‘Killpussy’).

‘Oral History Archive’ (DV Video) (Final Cut Duration: 6min30), HTAP, 2009   From January to May 2009, HTAP produced ten video interviews with residents from the London Borough of Hackney. Produced as an Oral History Archive. The interviews show individuals, couples, friends and families reflecting on conflict and displacement and what it means to call Hackney ‘home’.

Oral History Archive - Joyce and Elsie
Video Still: Elsie Hows and Joyce Caroll both discuss their experience during the war and the in/flux of new communities in and through Hackney. Joyce Caroll talks about staying in Hackney throughout the Blitz.
Yashar Ismailioglu
Installation shot of the ‘Oral History Archive’ first shown at ‘in/flux’ exhibition 2009. Yaşar İsmailoğlu, Hackney resident and founder of the Turkish Cypriot fine art society describes immigrating to the UK during the Greek Cypriot war.

The oral history archive was produced and edited by Marsha Bradfield, Marnie Baumer, Evan Brindle, Miriam Kings, Slade Lamey and Lucy Tomlins. The final cut was edited by Miriam Kings and Marsha Bradfield. It includes interviews with Marnie Baumer; Vivi and Rod Boucher; Joyce Carroll and Elsie Hows; Miron Farmus, Gaspar Karczewski, Tamara Lesneiwska and Joanna Lesniewska; Rui and Ines Freitas, Dino Graniello and Donaldo Figueroa, Jean Philippe Gerard, Yasar Ismailoglu, Kaday Rose Kamara and Lise Munro (otherwise known as ‘Killpussy’). ‘Echo Play’ Audio walk, Duration 3mins30 exhibited at Central St Martins Degree show, July 2007 and adapted for the Liverpool Biennial Independents, August 2008 ‘Echo Play’ audio walk examined contemporary celebrity phenomena in a science fiction narration. The narration through headphones attached to an MP3 player guides the walker from a busy road to a quiet haven in the city. The story describes in detail a manic world above their heads, where neon blue creatures work as invisible vehicles of information, communicating through tiny  sound waves. The walker is directed from the crowds of Charing Cross Road to a tiny pocket of beauty, The Phoenix Gardens.  Adapted for the Liverpool Biennial Independents.

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‘Echo Play’ audio walk route. An alley way called Phoenix street, links Charing Cross Road to The Phoenix Garden
The Phoenix Garden
‘Echo Play’ The end of the Audio walk, The Phoenix Garden a community garden kept up by residents.
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Installation shot. The walker picked up an MP3 player and small map and returned it after the walk.

‘House, Flat, Roof’ Video, 6mins 13 (UK: Letchworth, Kingsway Estate, Cambridge, London) 2006

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Miriam Kings, (UK: Letchworth, Kingsway Estate, Cambridge, London)

‘Dual Methods’, 2007

Duration: 4mins 45secs  (UK: City of London, London)

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. Miriam Kings, (UK: City of London, London)

The Crypt Gallery (Curator) 2003-2005. The Crypt Gallery, Islington facilitating 48 Artists over 11 exhibitions and preview events with focus on performance over two years.

Highlights

‘Onsite’  (Co-curator) June 2005 

New works by fifteen artists that explored the history, form and function of the crypt itself. 2nd year BA students from Central Saint Martin’s and Slade School of Art. Curated by James Newton, Anton Nikolotov, Miriam Kings and Craig Kao.

Oct 2004

‘Really, this can’t wait’ (Co-curator)

Artists working predominantly in Installation, presented themes of mundane, memory, obsession and anxiety. Curated by the artists Davina Drummond, Ines Dearman, Corrine Bannister and Clair Suckall. Produced by Miriam Kings

Feb 2004 

Memories and memorials from Chile: 30 years since the military coup . 

(Co-curator)

An academic and peace activist from Chile, Roberta Bacic was directly involved in collecting testimonies from the relatives of those who had been murdered or ‘disappeared’ during the military dictatorship of General Pinochet in 1973-1990.

Photographs from the personal collection of activist Roberta Bacic.

October 2003

Keeping Glamour 

(Curator)

A multidisciplinary exhibition and fashion show organised with students from Central St Martins and members of St Mary’s Youth Club.

Participatory Art by Visualdept.co.uk.

Inevitability

May 2004 

(Curator)

Installation exhibition by Slade Lamey, with accompanying artworks by Eleanor Watson and Sine Skovsen both working with the circle.

Mass Illustration –  with album launch for ‘Only Joe’.

September 2005

(Curator) 

Participatory illustration installation with 100+ graffiti artists and illustrators linked to the the ‘Only Joe’ and The Crypt Gallery communities invited to create a mass illustration in anticipation to, and during the final opening.

(Curator/Participating Artist)

HTAP’s Hackney Wicked exhibition used dialogue and play to investigate community formation. Co curated by Marsha Bradfield, Alison Barnes, Miriam Kings, Lucy Tomlins, and David Woosnam. Featuring six different maps and set out like a fête, visitors moved from stall to stall, informing and directing the maps with their own marks. As a research and collection centre, it enabled experimentation with a sense of place to uncover micro stories and patterns; investigating community formation through dialogue and play Over 150 visitors attended this event during the five hours the doors were open.

Pattern making for beginners proposed creative cartographies as a way of imagining new forms of social cohesion: a day-long event at the Hackney Wicked festival to exhibit and further HTAP’s ongoing research into community formation.

The SIX MAPS….

1.  ‘The Postcode Map’ (aka Starburst/Mother map): As an introduction to participation, the viewer enters the exhibition to find the Post code map. ‘Estimate your home postcode in relation to Hackney Wick (exhibition location) and link the two’.

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The Postcode Map’ situated at the entrance of the exhibition & introduced the idea of viewer participation.

2. ‘Experience, desire and the nonsensical’  A Board game  A table-top version of the Hackney map where revealing sculptural patterns are formed out of individual experiences, desire and fantasy rooted within Hackney.

Place the counters where you feel most appropriate.

Included: favourite place for a pint, favourite cafe, somewhere you wish to conserve, somewhere beautiful, somewhere you wished to destroy, (bulldozer symbol), a place where you’ve experienced crime, a ladder to the moon, and ‘where you would put Richard Branson’. The board game became a hub of the exhibition, people  sharing stories about their experiences of Hackney reminiscent of a campfire situation.

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‘Experience, desire and the nonsensical’ Lucy Tomlins, 2009

3. ‘Typecast’ Share your opinions and descriptions of Hackney and help create a landscape of text. Alison Barnes

4. ‘Objects and Keepsakes’ Displayed on an old shelving unit, visitors picked up the object to see its story explained on the attached luggage label. Objects were collected from the extended HTAP community, many of whom could not be there on the day. 31 people donated an object of meaning, displayed for visitors to pick up and examine.

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‘Objects’ Miriam Kings (left of image- displayed on an old shelving unit

Communities that donated objects included the Turkish-Cypriot Community Centre, African Caribbean Reunion, and the Pub on the Park.

5.  ‘Secrets’ Unburden yourself on the Hackney map of secrets

This map was covered by a confessional style cloth. The visitor would write their secret on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope and post it into a box. Then they would mark on the map with a red cross where that secret happened in the borough of Hackney.

6. ‘Rumour as Repetition: A Conceptual Study’: Listen and repeat 

An oral and written survey: Posturing as pseudo science and/or live art, this performative exchange involves (1) soliciting anecdotal reflections on hearing/spreading rumours; (2) presenting an example rumour (Hackney related); (3) collecting and classifying rumours.

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Marsha_Bradfield Rumour as Repetition: A Conceptual Study

The work from this one-day interactive event was re-presented in the exhibition: ‘in/flux’.  

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Hackney WIcked Festival

Master sculptor Kevin Oduor has had a career spanning over 25 years sculpting and teaching. He created many of Nairobi’s public sculptures, including Dedan Kimathi at the heart of Nairobi Central Business District, Wanjiku sculpture at the High Court, and the Mau Mau Memorial sculpture of a freedom fighter receiving food from a woman passing a the “Kiondoo” basket.

In addition he is also a conceptual artist on the Nairobi art scene.

Slideshow above shows a piece from ‘Existence 1’ 2012  perhaps asking the question: Is a chair really a chair if it is non-functional? Further images: Installation shots of ‘Existance 2’  developing from Existance 1’s exploration of the object (chair) to the human figure.

His practice can be loosely separated into the work he creates as a master of craft (a public sculpture created to a specific brief), and the work he creates as a master of form (slideshow 2) a sculpture created without a project brief from a public body, or a particular use, except in the fine art context.

His two guises as ‘craft’ and ‘form’ master support his career trajectories and are inseparable from each other: the public sculptures still existing as contemporary art, and the chair still existing as skilled craft.

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Figure 1.  Master Sculptor Kevin Oduor leading a workshop in at Kuona Trust Studios, 2014. Photocredit: Anthony Wachira

The order of these art work do not correspond with generations, this selection includes master sculptors as well as newly established artists.

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Dennis Muraguri

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Master sculptor Gakunju Kaigwa

Grief

Jackie Karutti (interactive performance series ‘In the Case of Books’)

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Photo: Shira Mwangi
http://shiramwangi.wordpress.com/

Maryanne Muthoni

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Master Sculptor Kevin Oduor

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Existance – Kevin Oduor

 Elkana Ong’esa built in 1960’s

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Syowia Kyambi (Performance)

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Meshak Oiro

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Before you step foot into the Kuona gallery (an exhibition space willing to take the risk on edgy exhibitions) you will likely know the theme of the exhibition, from the leaflets and posters advertising the show. ‘Enjoy Responsibly’  is a universally a well-recognised phrase.

Coincidentally, in the past weeks the Kenyan press has shown impounding of 385 different brands of apparently illegal, sub-standard liquor. This is due to a number of people having died at the mercy of these sometimes 70% proof spirits.  Many favourite spirits banned, and public figures ‘Chiefs / Assistant Chiefs’ exposed and sacked for profiting on these brews.

Curated by Thom Ogonga this show also includes established artists such as Peterson Kamwathi who shows a video, Anthony Okello, and Kamicha.  As well as newer to the scene artist Maral Bolouri, who investigates cultural values and cross-cultural differences.

The art work It is John Kamicha’s work that successfully interrogate the title in all its pain and complexity.

Although I do like Anthony Okello’s rather wonderful green men and women diagram piece, Radioactive Chain seems to be saying:

  • Surely this is about a collective responsibility? Find solutions in working together as society not blaming individuals

In the depiction of Boys wa mkali – ‘The bad boys’ we see a playful but serious pun on the boys who drink alcohol for breakfast. Spirit bottle labels are folded into milk carton shaped triangles, implying that instead of Chai for breakfast, alcohol is on the menu. These Boys wa mkali cut out in sculpture with warped almost bird like face features, are conjoined together by an orange river of warmth.

Anthony Okello, ‘Radioactive Chain’ Paper cutout
Anthony Okello, ‘Radioactive Chain’ Paper cutout
Anthony Okello, ‘Radioactive Chain’ Paper cutout
Anthony Okello, ‘Radioactive Chain’ Paper cutout

 

Detail: Maral Bolouri ‘Untitled’ Photocopy transfer, Pen, Watercolour, Paper
Detail: Maral Bolouri ‘Untitled’ Photocopy transfer, Pen, Watercolour, Paper
Detail: Maral Bolouri ‘Untitled’ Photocopy transfer, Pen, Watercolour, Paper
Detail: Maral Bolouri ‘Untitled’ Photocopy transfer, Pen, Watercolour, Paper
John Kamicha ‘Boys wa makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood
John Kamicha ‘Boys wa makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood
John Kamicha ‘Boys wa makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood
John Kamicha ‘Boys wa makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood

Their legs consist of collage of found images on DVD, reminiscent of religious paintings by masters of The Renaissance. The artist referencing ideology of our culture, making popular DVD characters into possible religious figures.

John Kamicha ‘Boys wa Makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood
Detail: John Kamicha ‘Boys wa Makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood

In Instead of the war on Poverty we got the war on Alcohol features painful looking colourful staples in a visually beautiful pattern joining Lesso materials together. Possibly a metaphor for Kenyan multiple identities. The mask head is a reflexive comment on the tradition of African culture, and reminds the viewer of their assumption of ‘african art’ by modernising it with some specs.

 Detail: John Kamicha ‘Instead of War on Poverty, They Got War on Alcohol’
Detail: John Kamicha ‘Instead of War on Poverty, They Got War on Alcohol’

Mapping Workshops July and November 2012

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In July 2012 and November 2012 I facilitated two workshops in at Christs Church Spitalfields. Artist Lucy Tomlins gave permission for me to re-create her concept from the Hackney Transient Arts Project mapping exhibition which we had co-curated with other artist participants. Original piece ‘Experience, Desire and the Nonsensical’ documented here.

November 2012 workshop
November 2012 workshop
November 2012 workshop
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