Inside // Outside
Our second exhibition focuses on the meaning of the interior and the exterior and contains written words, images, videos and sounds to convey what this means to each of the featured artists.
At this early stage in our journey together as artists and with our audience, this theme seems appropriate as it naturally lends itself to answering the question of how much of ourselves do we choose to share or hide.
Furthermore, this theme asks the question how does what we choose to express affect how we come across. Importantly, however, this is a result of the perceptions of the audience as much as the artist.
It’s lad’s night in the pub. We’re speaking, but it’s all dead air from the boys. It’s all background noise, surface chatter, and silence. We hear the same silence seeing crying children question why daddy never communicated love. We hear the same silence watching stony faced fathers crippled by pride pass away without knowing their families, their weaknesses, or their own damn selves. Silent we tell ourselves, and each other - silence. Now internalise and fester. We return to sipping or smoking, and sigh before slipping back to silence, shame, and sickness. Emotion choked by repression . Later to be spoken as rage. But for now, silence.
by Bior Elliot
The piece was named after WPP, a notoriously carnivorous global advertising conglomerate.
Bior said “I was thinking a lot about advertising at the time: I saw it as a way of making a living out of my creativity - a sort of safe place in between the corporate world and creative world. When I was making this artwork, I was learning more and more about the history of advertising, particularly in the UK and the developments that had surrounded the Saatchi brothers and Sorrell. Making the sculpture was sort of a manifestation of my shift in feelings concerning the advertising industry. I actually ended up discarding the sculpture and worked on it further as a photo instead - as a sort of mirroring of how advertising discards reality and replaces it with an idea.”
there are 670 boats in the thames singing
to the queen as a man readies his starting pistol to the sky and the world ends
all of the runners are running as happy as they have ever run
and we are all just as british in america they say we are secure
in our post-empire identity whatever that actually is in nigeria money can’t buy
the swell of pride in the chest of every british citizen in india we are spunky and in greece it is all too big of a party
and why wouldn’t it be the biggest the ticker tape is everywhere
everyone else has gone now
all that’s left is metals all silvers and golds
and home is just a mile away in the old shopping centre across the road
from the new one and the doors are always open and the smooth granite floor is refuge and still still we are dancing
by Louis VI
Louis took the photos in this exhibition on a recent trip to South Africa and said “this is a photo of barbered wire outside a BBQ/House music rave that happens every Sunday at a place called Mzoli’s in the Gugulethu township in Cape Town. The vibe is crazy, a lot of love in that place but that barbed wire was a reminder of the shit that goes down. People are working hard to spread the love but is that barbered wire trying to keep the love in or keep the hate out?”
Move but be still
Talk but be silent
You are a language
Rooted in self-destruction.
And sits in the pit of your belly
Like cascading rocks plummeting
On the surface of silk.
There is nothing in this dystopia
But your bent spine on this
Collaged and sourced from withered paper.
It needed to be fed
A man before human
Neither hot nor cold
We chew and spit your body into complex knots.
Black tears are raw materials
Throw these smudges of design
From your crippling ankle into
The infinitude of blue sea.
They watch you
Staring your hollow soul into the displaced mirror
We watch you rub salt on your wounds
We watched your flesh grow into twelve stories of walls
Keeping us from coming in.
by IGGY LDN
IGGY LDN's first film Black Boys Don't Cry received widespread attention following its premiere in 2016 - including recently being shown at the Tate Modern. The film is designed to deconstruct the ideals of masculinity and manhood by challenging restrictive ideals as to what it means to be a black man. It has strong focus on the delusion that men must always be strong, aggressive and show no emotion. Following on from the film, he has been invited to speak at a number of institutions including University Arts London (UAL), University College London (UCL) and Ravensbourne.
Videography by Ezekixl.
The film can be watched on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtiABGW_pdI
Get out of the car. Step over here. Have you travelled far today?
Are you from round here?
What’s your country of origin?
Did you move here to study?
No, like, where are you really from?
What do your parents call you when they’re mad?
What happened to your accent? It doesn’t sound from there…
Have you been back there?
Do you go back often?
Do they have electricity?
Are they in mud-huts?
Oh but I bet the food is such a delicacy.
No, but which box do you tick?
Black British? British of African descent? Afro-Carribean?
Well, who do you support in the World Cup? Or the Olympics?
Do you watch their news?
Can you speak the language?
You probably want to retire there right?
Is it a slower pace of life?
Do people really carry baskets around on their heads?
Do you only date black people? Or only white people?
Is it true what they say?
Skin don’t crack?
Once gone, never go back?
How do you get your hair like that?
Does it just grow like that?
Oh, I didn’t mean anything by that…
Can you play the blues?
What do you know about slavery?
Do you get stopped by police?
But you’re very well-spoken…
Are people surprised when they meet you in person?
Can you just explain to me why it’s still relevant?
Things are better for minorities.
I mean, it’s not as bad as it used to be, right?
by Louis VI
He said “I was driving through another township in the Eastern cape. We’d just driven past a scene that will stick in my mind forever: three guys all covered with chalk and tribal paint, holding spears, by a burning rubbish heap and an acacia tree performing some kind of ritual. It was so surreal that I felt like I was hallucinating but it was a perfect display of ‘the line’. A western outsider might look in here and see a township and rubbish but this is Africa, this is deep, this is old, this is dripping in culture and tradition. These shacks are recent but the nature, the mighty African sky has always been there, we were and still are Kings and Queens inside. It’s that split between the township, the Africa the media portrays, and the nature and beauty and reality of the continent which is so much more.”
She cut herself out of this darkness, a square of jaundice brightness washing over bedsheets and cupboard doors and brunette bundles stretched out over white cliffed shoulders.
In her mirror, chest beats out into the night sea, a sonar call, a declaration that windows aren’t boxes, that round things don’t live in squares.
Light is like a calling, but just because you followed it, doesn’t mean you belong there.
After taking this photo in Panama, on a recent trip to Central America, Mike said he wanted to “capture moments highlighting the connection Panamanians and Costa Ricans have to the sea and their appreciation of the outdoors that we often lose living in cities.”
He also said that “for many of the locals in Bocas Del Toro, boats on waves are as common as cars on the road, as a core mode of transport between each island.”
by Isaac Eloi
Lapli ka tonbé,
Ancestral rhythms in full flow,
Pride of the islands kept alive,
a thunderous sky greets joy,
Tjenbé balan-a and wuk up slow,
With each rotation, freedom hits skin,
Safety found in each beat,
Modernity following tradition,
Yo di mwen “soca does give yuh powers”,
and to that I say, “wi, misyé, sé vwé”,
A confident people fill up di jam,
Gathering strength with each passing street,
Speaker blarin’ “woulé, woulé, woulééééé!”
Necks and backs beaded with sweat,
Rags waving hard, warding off badmind vibes,
Lèspwi free to roam, lèstomak rising,
Garifuna meets Arawak and Carib,
Neo-colonial woven between the West African,
Patches of grey awash with the sea of vibrant colours,
Sé lilyon ki ka ba nou lafòs,
Liberation birthed through Black pain and tragedy,
Old realities fashioned into the new,
But history will repeat itself once more,
Lajwa turns to lapenn, bèlté to landji,
Blue and green eyes narrow upon Blackness,
Batons taken to thighs, di jam disrupted,
Our sanctuary invaded, the crowds disperse,
We run into lanfè, yon lanmè mal,
Feathers shed in the blaze,
Bullets decorate the skies,
The oppressed pained again,
Gwo lannwit, prayers for the departed,
Mothers and widows call out to an earless deity,
This is life for us, extinguishable on command,
Punished for existence, but our labour is required,
We awake to assimilate for a new day,
we plug into soca on our to capitalistic hell,
With a stark reminder of what once was…
Let tabanca Tuesday begin.
The absence of essence essentially in this instance, means an incendiary moment of explicit intuition.
... Or something about evolution.
Here I am. Staring at a blank paper propped up perfectly on a HP Pavilion. Placed on the lap of a person falling to oblivion. Oblivious to the world outside, inside a space once dark, now lit so brightly he is blind.
Though he can see, he has no sight.
Tonight, he wonders whether he will see peace.
Perhaps a moment of unbridled release.
Perhaps on his knees hunched in a ball crying inside because the light incinerates the tears that fly from his eyes, they cannot fall.
This boy is way too tall, and they will crash into the ground like raining fire.
I once told you, that the absence of essence essentially in this instance means an incendiary moment of explicit intuition.
So do not come close. For he will burn you along with himself. Unintentionally or not, the sparks will fly, like poorly made fireworks bleeding across the sky, I’d die to hold you in my arms right now.
But I fear you are already gone.
My utmost fear is that you won’t even survive my atmosphere.
Instead you’ll likely burn on entry.
Cremated remains of our lost love dancing on a Casablanca the skyline
Whilst I sit here wasting time writing these intentionally abstract fucking rhymes with no purpose or meaning behind them.
I wonder whether I’ve mistaken my illusions of grandeur with delusions of grandeur.
Whether a revolution of character is needed more so than an evolution of mood. Or an elation of spirit.
These temporary moments give way to temporary feelings. These temporary feelings give way to temporary sensations. These temporary sensations have become the reel of my life’s video. impermanent. Fleeing
Fleetingly, I am floating in it all. Hoping it’s with a purpose yet fearing it’s really not. Because quite frankly, I’m burning and with no signs of slowing down I will take you all with me.
And fire is not my element.
It’s brash and violent, although sometimes beautiful. Incinerates the old earth making way for the new. So after each burn out I wonder is it true, could I really be a new me and you a new you
I don’t know whether it was revolution or evolution. But I know I am no longer the same.
Now I think about it, maybe the two aren’t even diametrically opposed. Maybe it’s cyclical, revolving. I suppose that’s the purpose of this long-winded piece.
I pulled myself from oblivion. From a place once devoid of life and happiness and absent of colour.
Guess I’ve changed now. A revolution of self via evolution, indeed.
Doing things which scare me just to prove I still bleed. Bullying my heart into beating. Into living on.
Fire is still not my element.
But the wind does bring my essence sweet release.
by Louis VI
He said “this photo was also taken at Mzoli’s. I’d been watching this guy the whole afternoon, moving about under the tarpaulin from the baking Cape Town sun and he just radiated his assertion as a don, a G of Gs. Everyone else seemed to be moving around him so that the place felt like his and then at one point the light hit him and no one else. He literally glowed in his all whites and hat. Everyone else was inside but he was outside wherever he went.”
Sometimes I want to burn bright like the sun but I don’t know if I’m allowed to.
I empathise with British weather,
so much talk about it and so many expectations, which never seem to deliver. Only remarkable on the most unexpected of days
and faltering when people tell it that now is its moment to shine.
“Man’s not hot!” said the young black boy in Burgess Park on July 19th, sun blazing down on his oily cocoa butter glazed face.
I guess the weather rose to the occasion that day.
This is where I start to lose my relation and empathy with British weather and the feeling veers towards envy.
I can’t remember the last time I glowed up.
He also took this photo on the same trip to Central America, specifically on a beach called Playa Negra in Costa Rica.
Mike said he wanted to “capture moments highlighting the connection Panamanians and Costa Ricans have to the sea and their appreciation of the outdoors that we often lose living in cities.”
I am often told to listen
for God in nature,
that the heavens
declare his glory,
that the skies
the work of his hands.
A fat, furry loaf of a dog
barks at a seagull.
As the gull flies
so the dog follows,
an unleavened hound
trying so hard
to offer itself up.
Begging to live
in the belly of the sky.
as if we don’t break bread
trying to get closer
to God’s sun.
It may become something one day It may not.
Maybe I'll record in a studio one day But maybe not.
For now I've got voice memos, There's always a way.
~ Reference ~
Hummed and Murmured on a snowed in day in February.
How's it feel to climb? Badly, need batteries
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