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2023 – 2024 Artist Community Residency

 

From Autumn 2023 – Summer 2024, we are announcing a new opportunity for artists by providing a part-time studio space for two practitioners and collectives to rehearse, experiment with the acoustics of the building and engage with local communities.

Our 2023 – 2024 Artist Community members are Aliaskar Abarkas and artist duo, Amanda Camenisch & Therese Westin.

 

Amanda Camenisch & Therese Westin

 

Working with sound, textiles, sculpture and poetry as art-making and healing practices, Amanda & Therese develop collaborative projects that centre the experiences of its participants through a trauma-informed approach.

Focusing on facilitating holistic spaces and experiences that become conduits for artistic expression, the artists tend to both individual and collective needs in the process of developing projects and creating artworks with various private and public outcomes.

In January 2024, we hosted ‘A Home Is A Cloud’, a large-scale movement and sound piece conceived by Amanda Camenisch and Therese Westin, directed and performed by Abimbola, Clara Soyinka, Dotty, Elizabeth Addoi, Florence Musa, Freida C. McNeil, Funmilda Olojo, Grace Ade, Grace Owolabi, Jani, Ladun Mary Oguntoyinbo, Leo, Ms Jumoke, Margaret, Pham B Long, Priyanka G Geriya, Sharon, Sungyeon Kim, Vanessa Mirza, Zara.

Over a period of 3 months, the group has met weekly and explored notions of home, faith and belonging through the lens of music and movement as a form of worship. The result is a 45 minute long, part scripted part, improvised score, consisting of collective movement and song, interspersed with individual solo pieces.

On Saturday 13th January, there was a late afternoon sound meditation performed by Florence Musa, Freida C. McNeil, Priyanka G Geriya, Sharon and Sungyeon Kim, using the 4 elemental sound sculptures created specifically for the project.

 

Listen to ‘Elemental Sounds’ with Amanda & Therese, a radio programme aired on Montez Press on 25th January 2024.

 

The programme includes the voices and stories of the artists and participants who have directed and produced ‘A Home Is A Cloud’, performed at the Swiss Church in January 2024.

‘Elemental sounds’, is a radio program that introduces participants and artists that have been performing a self devised piece titled A Home Is A Cloud and Sounds Of Worship in London in January 2024. The radio program brings together participants and artists with whom Amanda and Therese have worked with over the last year, exploring sound as a healing practice through the elements as well as movement practices and poetry. Amanda and Therese have been running workshops all over London for the past 3 years, working with refugees, migrants and women that have experienced domestic abuse. – Montez Press

 

 

 Aliaskar Abarkas

 

Aliaskar is an Iranian artist and writer whose practice is deeply rooted in alternative and collective education. Through a performative approach, he captures the dynamics between people, forging a shift from individual to collective experience. His projects, notably The Community Whistling Choir, explore themes of communication, conviviality, and transformation of self and knowledge. Together with the participants, he documents the process to produce films and compose sound and text.

As part of an ongoing collaboration, Aliaskar will be regularly using our studio space to work on his project, The Community Whistling Choir. The ongoing project, explores communication, conviviality, and participation through the unique medium of whistling, transcending conventional language.

As part of his residency, Aliaskar will invite a diverse group to engage in monthly rehearsals. These sessions, enriched with workshops, exercises, and listening sessions facilitated by the artist and guest collaborators, aim to collectively craft whistling soundscapes. Collaborating with musicians, the participants record whistling sounds, creating compositions for streaming on radio stations, a music album, and a live performance at the Church in April 2024.

The Community Whistling Choir is free for all to attend every first Monday of the month starting 8th January 2024, 7pm.

 

 

Past Residencies

Anna Fearon (2023)

Anna Fearon is a Photographer, Director & Writer living in London. Her work centres on exploring identity, telling nuanced stories exploring Black and queer identity.

Anna initially started as a photographer and her practice has broadened into film, working on short films and music videos. She has had her film The Muse screened at the V&A museum and has given a talk at Friday Lates: The eyes have it. Anna has been commissioned to make short films for Channel 4 Random acts for Black history month which have been broadcast on tv as well as British Vogue last year for their Pride series. She has also published two issues of ‘Blue’ a print publication, founded by herself which focuses on celebrating Black beauty, fashion and art. She recently completed an artist residency with Hypha studios supported by art council and solo exhibition Colour + Movement.

She also facilitates film workshops for young people, and community focused projects. She is currently in early stage development for her first feature film.

During her time with us, Anna explored her project ‘Legacy of Family Part I & II’; a celebration of chosen family within queer communities, specifically Black and POC communities and the spaces that facilitate community. The project explored what it means to create legacy through the intertwining of family trees, iconography and myth.

Cora Sehgal Cuthbert (2022)

'Nanu Loss' 2022

‘Nanu Love’ (2022) (image courtesy of the artist)

Cora Sehgal Cuthbert is a London based multi disciplinary artist. Throughout her practice, she is constantly searching for, and presenting, the extraordinary in the ordinary. Influenced by artists, poets and philosophers like Mark Leckey, William Blake and Iris Murdoch, Cora’s work observes the intersections and connections between the personal, the cultural and a universal humanity/spirituality.

Cuthbert’s culminating residency exhibition ‘I Left Love Here Somewhere’ was a mixed media installation based upon the artist’s relationship with her Nan, and is the culminating exhibition of her 2022 Artist Residency at the Swiss Church.

Made up of text, photography, sculpture and print, the installation explores the ways in which the themes of family, immigration, spirituality, grief, isolation, mental health, care, love and loss intertwine.

When all seems to be lost, can love still be found?

 

Abel Shah (2021)

‘Exyodys I’ (2021) installation view (image courtesy of the artists)

Abel Shah, an artistic duo consisting of the Alex Bell and Guilia Shah, developed new work within the Swiss Church studio space from September to Novemeber 2021, resulting in a culminating residency exhibition entitled ‘Exodysis I’.

Abel Shah have a mutual interest in the relationship between language and the body, structures of power, and the distribution of knowledge and ideas through technologies. They create multimedia installations, publications and internet art.

With many thanks to Camden Giving charity for their support.

Read more about Camden Giving and Abel Shah

 

Hot Desque (2020)

‘Model Village’ (2020) installation view (image courtesy of the artists)

Founded in 2018, Hot Desque is a curatorial partnership by artists Lizzy Drury and Neena Percy, showing emerging and established artists within site-specific exhibitions, writing publications and hosting events.

Hot Desque have worked on projects in temporary settings across the UK, including a former nightclub. The exhibitions aim to bring artworks together as part of a theatrical mise-en-scène, providing a platform for experimentation and interdependence.

At the end of the residency, Hot Desque showed the exhibition Model Village at the Swiss Church. The exhibition took the form of a series of artist- made scale models. These were used as alternative exhibition spaces as part of the resulting project of nomadic curatorial platform Hot Desque’s residency at the church.

Model Village by Hot Desque – Press Release

Hot Desque’s website

 

Hamed Maiye (2019)

A collaborative installation and performance by musician Roxanne Tataei and artist Hamed Maiye, commissioned by the V&A museum. With permission of Hamed Maiye, Roxanne Tatei and the V & A Museum.

Hamed Maiye is a multidisciplinary artist and curator based in London that uses portraiture as a means of expressing emotional identity and heritage. Maiye founded the arts movement ‘Afro-Portraitism’ which documents the multifaceted image of the contemporary youth of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora whilst exploring the concept of self representation. One of the key drivers in Maiye’s collaborative practice is the introduction of new personal narratives and creating visibility for those who are often marginalised.

During his residency Maiye explored the parallels between spiritualism, surrealism and reality:

“I am interested in the space between reality and surrealism and how these can reflect/inform each other. This space of cross reflection will be grounds to research a visual language and aesthetic of personal utopias and safe spaces. My research will include exploring different forms of iconography and implementing it into my practice in order to create a body of work.”

 

Miriam Laura Leonardi (2018)

Miriam Laura Leonardi, Angels of Chaos 1 & 2, 2016, various media, dimensions variable

The 2018 Swiss Church August Artist Residency was awarded to Zurich-based artist Miriam Laura Leonardi. Miriam was in residence at the Church from 6 – 26 August 2018, where she developed her project The Church (after Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives) – a live reenactment of the THE CHURCH (AFTER THE FACT) – an episode of Robert Ashley‘s Television Opera Perfect Lives.

 

Kindly supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum and Maecenas.