We have been developing a social arts practice that uses performance to bring people together in new ways for the last 10 years. Using storytelling, collective improvisation, enactment, ritual and making – often resulting in hand crafted objects, film and sound.
We believe the collective making of artworks become a meaningful way of gathering and we feel that is when art really becomes exciting; when it communicates the methods of incredible potential and freedom brought about by play and sharing.
We have often felt that our group performances create a form of contemporary magic and have always wanted to develop a bookwork that honours the process of making and documents what happens in these gatherings. You could say we want to capture the intangible substance of what happens when an unexpected group of people commune within the making of an artwork.
Arts organisation Legion Projects (formerly Legion TV) have invited us to be part of a touring arts exhibition which takes inspiration from witchcraft, traditional folk magic and earth-based philosophies and we straight away saw the opportunity to trace back our ideas and produce a first bookwork that represents our practice and touches upon these ideas.
The exhibition will tour to 4 venues across the UK from September 2018 – April 2020; Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown, Wales, Bonington Gallery in Nottingham, Sidney Cooper Gallery in Canterbury and the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe.
The inspiration for the bookwork will be a take on the grimoire – a book of spells that collates imagery, symbolism and incantations. Our bookwork will contain new spells for communing - showing an experimental approach to social practice.
The bookwork will be developed through a series of public workshops and interactive performances at each venue, bringing together two community groups in each location to work on the project together; exchanging and weaving together stories, magic and bodies. These workshops will be based around the notion of ‘Imbuing’, something we have previously explored through making scrolls which we have imbued with the elements at special moments, as seen in our work ‘Moon scroll’ and ‘Imbuing Mist’ below.
The final bookwork will present a collection of poems, texts, spells, photographs and drawings. Some will appear as remedies for how to imbue ‘care’ and ‘trust’,weaving new threads of social consciousness into the communities we will be working with.
This tour will allow us to reach wider audiences with our work and bring together longstanding thematics in our practice such as “handheld knowledge”, “the village scale” and ‘trust- carriers”.
The final bookwork will be a beautiful hand-crafted grimoire – a document showing a body of performances and work supporting us to develop and celebrate our practice. This will be on display in all the exhibition tour venues, and will be added to as the tour develops and we commune with people in different parts of the UK.
Our hope is that this unique bookwork will then find a permanent home, accessible to the public. We will also produce high quality facsimile books to share the artwork further. Please consider supporting the project by pre-ordering one such book - or one of our other rewards.
The donations we receive will go towards the cost of running community workshops at 4 touring venues, including fees, travel and materials for the workshops. The donations will also fund the production of the Grimoire; both the original artwork and the printing of the facsimile books.
For links to our past work: www.fourthland.co.uk
For Legion Projects’ archive: www.legion-tv.com
Risks and challenges
We have everything in place to begin this project with the kind support of Legion Projects, Oriel Davies Gallery, Sidney Cooper Gallery, Bonington Gallery and 20-21 Visual Arts Centre. As a result, we are sure that the only remaining challenge is the uncertainty of raising the budget to support the artists and cover costs.
Collectively we have extensive experience of planning and executing complex exhibitions and events, and we are confident that we will be able to produce the project to a tight deadline and within budget.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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