Monday, 18 September 2017

A  photo diary with some words about our walk for Brexitopia at Espacio Gallery. 

Walking in The Footsteps of the Huguenots                                                           

This walk was sort of planned with wandering in mind, we allowed ourselves to get lost. I had fixed points which we aimed to walk towards. 

Brexitopia and The Refugee Tales

When the opportunity arose to do something for The Republic of Brexitopia exhibition at Espacio I was elated. 

Those of you who know me well and are aware of my back ground know that I come from a family of migrants. For someone from my part of the world, where you are from is complex to say the least, but so is it for many people here in the UK.

Our reference to the Huguenots was to put our walk and geographical location (using psychogeography, if you like) to contextualise, refugees, asylum seekers and the need for safety as a human right

We Started outside Espacio , reading the
prologue from Refugee Tales II:

We hold this truth
To be Self-evident
That a person
Who has a story
Requires space -
To start
We set this out
A simple requirement
In language
That in justice
As it is told
A person's story                         In our stride.
Be accorded
Its place..........."

and so to The weavers fields, where we wandered and took it in turns to read from Cecilia Vicuña's poem "Impossible Weaving".


We used the poem and the connection with Weavers fields to reflect in particular on the role the Huguenots, who sought refuge in this country, played in the development of textiles in the  surrounding area.

The walk was conducted in a spirit of collaboration. Both Simon and Sandy, who had never met before this walk, told us that they were related to the Huguenots. 

 I had read  somewhere that 1 in 6 people in the UK are related to the Huguenots. 

Then... it rained!
and on to The Nomadic garden

With stunning explanations and  contributions by Travis and Simon about the street art that we encountered on our route.

It was indeed a privilege to have you with us!


The Nomadic Garden
At the Nomadic Garden we had a great welcome, sharing poetry readings from Cecilia Vicuna, excerpts from Refugee Tales II and personal anecdotes about our experiences of being outsiders.

a bit more rain as we left......loving the palm tree below!

and ... on to Shoredtich
High Street with Simon pointing out iconic drawings which I had never noticed.

Ending with Carlos Varela's song: Walls and Doors 

And....yes we did knot ropes.....but more about this in my next blog about the #Tribe17 exhibition at The Oxo Bargehouse in October.

With thanks to :

                          Lisa Kreuziger
                          Simon Cole
                          Paul Wade
                          Sandy Wade
                          Travis Moore 
                          Carlos Lins (Director Espacio gallery) 
                          Ahmed Farooqui (Degrees of Freedom, curator of Brexitopia)
                          Esperanza Gomez - Carrera (Degrees of Freedom)
                          Lizzie Brown  (artist and gallery invigilator on the day)
                          David and Marianne (from Pavement Pounders Folkestone, who were 
                                                               thwarted by transport problems in their
                                                             attempt to join us! but were with us in spirit)

                          Anastasia Miller,  PHOTOGRAPHER,  for walking, interacting getting
                                                        soaked and... taking great photos!



Sunday, 10 September 2017

Walking in the Footsteps of The Huguenots

An artist led walk by Billie Penfold on Wednesday September 13th from 1-2 pm

From Espacio Gallery to the London Wall

Welcome back after the Summer break

This walk is part of the exhibition
The Republic of Brexitopia at Espacio Gallery
Curated by Degrees of Freedom

For the exhibition  I will be organising a reflective meandering walk from Espacio gallery on the Bethnall Green Rd.  in the direction of the City of London Wall.

During the walk we will explore the surrounding area  and we will stop for selected  readings to open a participative dialogue. The readings will connect with the history  of the Huguenots who sought asylum in Britain and outside the city walls where they were able to develop the weaving trade which to this day is an important part of the areas history.

The walk will hope to complement the work done by Refugee Tales

In July 2017, Refugee Tales walked from Runnymede to Westminster stopping at Walton, Kingston, Brentford and Hammersmith, calling for the practice of indefinite immigration detention to end. At every stop of the way leading writers helped tell the tales of asylum seekers, refugees and detainees, as well as the stories of those who work with them. As the project walks it creates a space in which the language of welcome is the prevailing discourse, a political carnival in which the act of listening is a common resource.

Fore more about: http://refugeetales.org

I also want to weave the lyrics of the song by Carlos Varela ,’ Muros y Puertas’ (Walls and Doors) into the fabric of this walk and include some of the text from the poem ‘Impossible Weaving’ by Cecilia Vicuña which stresses the importance of making and creativity as a way of living a fulfilling life.

During the walk we will use mnemonics to document our thoughts through knots on ropes. I have been busy in my studio  making the ropes for each walker.

We will stop at intervals along the route for a drink and a chat during which we will undo the knots and share our thoughts with fellow walkers. The walk will be conducted in a spirit of collaboration and all walkers are invited  to participate with me in this process.

The walk is free but ticketed as there is a limit on numbers.
Looking forward too walking, talking and sharing with you.