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Kunstraum Friends & Neighbours

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Lindsey Mendick
a Solid Touch
15 July 2018


Lindsey Mendick’s a Solid Touch is a collective installation showcasing ceramic vessels stemming from a series of weekly workshops during which women of EC1 were introduced to pot making and experimenting with clay. During the Whitecross Street Party (WXSP), these objects will be assembled in a self-contained, communal space which the audience will be invited to inhabit.

The displayed objects are an aesthetic and metaphoric reflection of the personal stories, thoughts, and social concerns that were shared between the participants throughout the process of making. Inducing both functionality and playfulness, the ceramics, made by and for humans, subsequently embody their domestic and ritualistic function. This collectively made installation will reflect on the social dimension of art making via series of objects which critically address questions of female solidarity and the utilisation of group action to enable positive support and exchange.

Kunstraum‘s Friends & Neighbours is a programme of artist-led workshops for residents of Whitecross Street and the wider EC1 area. Artists Zoe Williams, Lisa Penny, LindseyMendick, William Ashcroft & Aisha Bozonga will kick off ‘Friends & Neighbours’ for the Whitecross Street Party 2018 with four major new commissions, which challenge artists to test participatory and socially engaged projects within their broader practice.

Inspired by Kunstraum‘s building’s former function as a community hall, Friends & Neighbours expands beyond the gallery’s walls to test the conditions of accessibility and social potential of contemporary art. The project’s title suggests ‘neighbourliness’ as a model for a non-hierarchical relationship of an art space to its audiences. Standing contrary to stereotypical media depiction of communities who live in social housing, the programme foregrounds residents’ ongoing involvement in cultural life and proposes an alternative to galleries’ role in gentrification and social cleansing.