IMPRINT at Serpentine’s Centre For Possible Studies
Last Friday saw the opening of IMPRINT – a collective exhibition and interactive arts festival that I was proud to be part of. An exciting collective of creatives called The Fabelists – led by visionary curator Francesca Goodwin – shared visual art, poetry, writing and music with the Edgeware Road community and encouraged them to express their personal stories in a nurturing and creative environment. Curator Francesca spoke about the vision behind the event:
‘I have seen with the Fabelist group how artistic practice is a really strong adhesive to building communities and I want to share that message with a wider public audience- to give people the opportunity to access contemporary art at whatever level they can identify with.When I heard about the regeneration plans in Church Street I immediately wanted to help the residents to preserve their experiences of the area and to spread the message across London- to put Church Street on the cultural map where it belongs. I wanted to tell their stories, just as we give voice to a range of personalities at Fabelist.’
The event took place at The Centre For Possible Studies 21 Gloucester Road, London – which is an off-shoot project space orchestrated by The Serpentine Gallery. Visitors were invited to see visual art and hear creative stories and poetry readings from the Fabelists artists and writers who have been exhibited and published internationally. It was not just an opportunity to come and see though. Both children and adults were given the opportunity to work alongside the artists to communicate their own stories and be part of the festival. Visitors threw their memories into ‘the pool of unforgotten stories’ created heroes and heroines with young fashion designers at ‘Poppy’s Paper Doll Parlour’ and added imagined destinations to the ‘Story Village”.
The artwork on show at the festival remains available to view throughout the week long exhibition. The work had been produced by the Fabelists over the past six months to the theme of ‘Imprint’. On the Fabelists blog they had shared their creative progress throughout that time – supporting and conversing with one another. I was delighted to exhibit my piece ‘Relics’ which I had regularly blogged about.
Also joining the event was The Edible Art Movement ( founded in the early 1920s by a group of experimental artists, intellectuals, poets and philosophers drawn together by a shared passion for food and art). They created an interactive performance in the form of an edible sculpture that invited visitors to “draw for your dinner”. Upon a table in the central room were piles of books, painted white, interspersed with glasses displaying visually delightful fruit, veg and pulses. Participants choose a piece of food, draw it, and exchange their drawing for the food which is presented to them specially wrapped with a recipes from the local market and served up on a silver platter.
There was an amazing atmosphere throughout the day and into the evening where happy voices mixed with the beautiful sounds of the musicians playing in the arches and wandering through the pillars. The evening drew to a close with an impromptu collaboration between Simon Roth, Richard O’Brien and Zoe Catherine Kendall who finished the event with a musically accompanied spoken word performance to a spellbound audience.
Imprint runs until 4 Feb
Location: Serpentine Gallery’s Centre for Possible Studies, 21 Gloucester Place,
London W1U 8HR
Nearest station Baker St (also close to Edgware Road, Bond Street, Marble Arch)