Monthly Archives: December 2017

Annabel Dover | The Dream Lives of Objects | 24 Jan 2018

Artist Annabel Dover will talk about her residency at the British School at Athens and our multivalent relationship to objects.

24th January 2018 | Lecture Theatre, Chelsea College of Arts


Images – C-type prints – City Plaza Hotel, Series I, II, III, IV, V

For my residency at the British School at Athens I looked at Athens through the prism of personal narratives. When I was 13, my father already gone, my mother left home to live in Athens. She never returned. My research at the British School at Athens focused on the Finlay Museum whilst retracing my mother’s steps in Athens, according to her letters; making drawings, paintings and three-dimensional objects that respond to the leftover human traces I found in these areas. The designer Phillipe Stark remarked that to understand a city you must first look in its rubbish bins. In a series of three-dimensional works, I used the crumbs of gold leaf I found outside the Hotel des Anglais, Syntagma Square, leftover by the hotel’s recent ironwork gilding. I made everyday objects akin to the dice, coins and shells found in the Ancient Athenian Agora Museum, out of Jesmonite and then gilded them with the found gold leaf. I scattered these in the Ancient Agora and photographed them in situ. I made watercolours that take their glittering translucent appearance from a small rock I found in the Ancient Agora. A jeweller in the Plaka, skilled in the art of Lapis Lazuli carving, ground it down for me and I have added it to gum Arabic (from The Acacia Senegal tree, from the Sudan). The Ancient Agora seems so alive with Tortoises, Hoopoes, Swallows and plants that I wanted some of this organic life to become part of my document of Athens. These scraps of the recent past are then woven together to form a new narrative

My chief research focus whilst at the British School at Athens engaged with the school’s research theme of ‘building the archive’. My PhD research focused on presenting an alternative taxonomy. My study of the early photographer Anna Atkins looked at the specimens she presents less as conclusive evidence, more reflecting on them as a starting point to explore her biography. Whilst in Athens I documented accidental artefacts left behind by the people who catalogued the Finlay Museum; items such as an airmail envelope with notes on, or discarded pieces of paper with the item numbers of the potsherds in the collection. I made paintings and drawings of these artefacts alongside the displayed artefacts of the Finlay Museum and presented these works in a loose-leaf album.

I volunteered at City Plaza Hotel, a hotel that went bankrupt in the crash of 2007, now a refugee hostel. I photographed groups of objects belonging to the residents of the hostel: bags of earth brought from their home countries, rose petals they collected and sometimes I collected for them that their mothers put in their bras to make them smell nice, oranges they picked from the trees that grow on the streets of Athens that they ate. Cigar ends that belonged to the rich men of Athens that they dreamt of being. Lucky charms Greek people they met had given to them when they were ill and the toys that became dirty on their long journey to Greece.

My time at the BSA provided me with an overwhelming amount of material that will continue to influence my work in the future. I would particularly like to focus on the wildlife of the Ancient Agora site. I have used humane moth traps in the past and I would be very interested in documenting the moths of the Ancient Athenian Agora, as a metaphor for the life of the city returning after dark. Among the other areas of research, I encountered at the BSA, that I am very interested to follow are: archeological squeezes and the indexical parallels they have with the cyanotype, the works of Piet de Jong and Alice Lidsell’s botanical notebook who was resident at the BSA 1930-31 and whose watercolours are now housed by Newnham College, Cambridge.






Shame on You: Theorising shame, pride and community in contemporary culture

Photograph by Christa Holka.

10.00 – 19.00 Friday, 09 February 2018, 

Banqueting Hall, Chelsea College of Arts 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU

 Recent advances in ‘equality’ have seen an explosion of pride within the LGBT community but what has been gained and what has been lost by insisting that we are proud to be gay?
In this day-long symposium we will cast light on contemporary manifestations of the relations between shame and stigma, exposure, conformity and power.

This event is convened by Jordan McKenzie, Associate Lecturer, BA Drawing

Camberwell College of Arts, and Akosua Bonsu (Fringe Centre, UCL).

Booking essential:


Encountering Difference  

Image: Akiko Takizawa, Shadows on the Hill (2009, date printed: 2013). Collotype on Japanese Washi Paper. Courtesy of the artist.        

10.00 – 18.00 Friday, 23 February 2018

Lecture Theatre, Camberwell College of Arts, 45-65 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UF

Focusing on themes of identity, the visual and non-visual representations of race, gender, sexuality, class, language, power, desire and aesthetics, this one-day symposium, will present the findings from the Difference Goes Speed Dating event, which hosted a series of encounters between artists, students, academics and industry specialists engaged in lens-based media practices. We will discuss current and alternative ways of picturing difference in contemporary lens-based practices and beyond.

This event is convened by Dr Ope Lori, TrAIN Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and BA Fine Art Associate Lecturer at Chelsea College of Arts.

Booking essential:


Adaptation, Re-make, Risk-taking: Creative intervention in contemporary theatre and performance

Image courtesy: Blind Dinner Date, ZU-UK.

10.00 – 17.00 Saturday, 03 March 2018

Wimbledon Theatre Space, Wimbledon College of Arts, Merton Hall Road, London SW19 3QA

Adaptation, Re-make, Risk-taking aims to take a fresh look at the reinterpretation of pre-existing sources in contemporary performance, and situates radical intervention as an innovative and risk-taking form of adaptation for the stage.

This event is convened by Dr Jozefina Komporaly, Lecturer in Theatre and Screen Studies at Wimbledon College of Arts.

Very limited amount of tickets available.
Early booking recommended:


Speculative Design: Afrofuturist and indigenous projections

Image: Elizabeth La Pensee, She Carries the Water. Courtesy of the artist.

14.00 – 20.00 Friday, 09 March 2018

Banqueting Hall, Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU

This afternoon symposium brings together researchers and practitioners whose work engages with the themes of Afrofuturism, Indigenous Futures, and other emerging areas of science-fictional/future-orientated cultural practice in which people of colour, indigenous cultures and non-Western subjects take centre stage.

This event is convened by Dr Dan Smith, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Theory, Chelsea College of Arts.

Booking essential:




To mark the end of Lana Locke’s PhD on The feral, the art object and the
social, she will create a sprawling installation of objects, images and videos in
Chelsea College of Arts’ Cookhouse Gallery that make flesh the practice-based
nature of her research.

Here, the practice becomes entangled in an unruly relation with the space:
scratched, seeping forms evoking bodily organs, liquids and waste do not rest
within the contours of a body, but act as infectious elements, moving through the
environment, speaking to a social body uncontained by the gallery. Clay tower
blocks and burnt out metal plants germinate amongst the husks of Locke’s external
and internal installations and protests of the last four years, rejecting
gentrification, as she seeks to reclaim the social within the material.

Locke’s conception of the feral scavenges (physically, socially and
metaphorically) in the gap between defined spaces, and draws out the political
promise of the indeterminate state of being neither wild nor
civilised. Originating as a retaliation against the former British Lord Chancellor
Kenneth Clarke’s labelling of a ‘feral underclass’ in the 2011 London riots, she
seeks to unfix the feral from this uncivilised, abject position. Her practice
resists the ‘civilising’ borders of the spheres of display it interpenetrates.
However, like the feral, it does not attack the boundaries directly: it is
furtive; it must creep over, under and through the boundaries to survive.

The Cookhouse space is treated as a physical manifestation of the academic
framework of an arts PhD, and the institutional rigidity, regulation, and
political and economic pressures the practice has sought to gnaw away at when
confronted by this structure. Yet as Locke equates the temporary installation of
art objects in the space to the status of squatters passing through, the days of
her own squatting period of doctoral study have reached their end, its contingent
permissions and protection withdrawing. As her practice has poked into, picked at,
and soaked through any porosity and permeability of boundaries, inside and outside
of the rules of the University, that might allow her to leach it for a little more
supply (of workshop access, of materials, of knowledge), so must she now move on.