13 May 2020
by João Guarantani
Three international artists/designers will connect with London arts organisations and communities in a virtual residency.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, arts events and residencies across the world have been cancelled or postponed. However, with our partners at Create London we’re connecting artists from India, Pakistan and Mexico with artist-run spaces in east London. Together they’ll create objects for the British Council’s new global headquarters in Stratford, east London, through our Housewarming: virtual residencies programme.
The residencies kick off in June 2020 and last six weeks, with artists and organisations collaborating through video conferencing to create new objects for the British Council’s new headquarters – including textiles, ceramics and light installations. The final objects will be informed by ideas, subjects and themes relating to the host organisations' local communities in east London.
To achieve this the artists/designers will connect with locals digitally – gathering ideas and sharing their skills with the community. The British Council and Create London will be on hand to advise during the residencies too.
Sakshi Gupta (Mumbai, India) is collaborating with Blackhorse Workshop to create a light installation for the British Council’s new atrium area. Her practice answers pertinent questions regarding waste, recycling and obsolete technologies as well as the natural world’s relationship to the manufactured.
Shehzil Malik (Lahore, Pakistan) is a designer and illustrator with a focus on human rights, feminism and South Asian identity. She will work closely with Rabbits Road Press and the artist collective One Of My Kind (OOMK) on producing printed textiles for the new building.
Daniel Valero (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico) will work alongside Troy Town Art Pottery and their young people's community project Hoxton Gardenware to produce ceramic planters for the new office area. He is a ceramicist and textile designer who is grounded in collaborations with craftsmen from rural communities.
The artists/designers were nominated by arts organisations, curators or practitioners across countries where the British Council has a presence and submitted joint Expressions of Interest.
Applications were shortlisted by members of Create London, the British Council’s Architecture, Design and Fashion team (ADF) and the host organisations.
Create London helps artists to connect more closely with communities through ambitiously programmed projects. They commission art anywhere and have no fixed public space, preferring to work in the places people encounter every day. Working collaboratively informs everything they do, and their projects are driven by artists, issues and places. Create London initiated the 3 host organisations as part of their wider work seeking to create sustainable arts organisations that are embedded into their local context.
Blackhorse Workshop is a public place for making, mending and learning. With on-site technical assistance and a fully equipped wood and metal workshop, you can use the facilities with the support of industry expertise and a community of makers.
Rabbits Road Press is a community Risograph print studio and publishing press run by artist collective, One Of My Kind (OOMK). With a focus on facilitating original work between local community groups and artists in and around the Old Manor Park Library, the small-scale publishing press prints artist work and custom-bind zines and small publications on demand.
Troy Town Art Pottery was founded by London-based artist Aaron Angell in 2013 in response to dwindling ceramics access in London. The pottery provides a space for artists to explore the practice of ceramics, removed from the idea of production and function that is embedded in the history of the medium.
The residencies will run in June/July 2020 - watch out for further updates on the ADF blog.