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Re: Repair

YVAG_RE: REPAIR

Re: Repair is a collection of interventions from 16 artists exploring the idea of repair as an ongoing process. 

The exhibition takes place across Level G of the Barbican, and has been produced by the Barbican’s Young Visual Arts Group.

Fikayo Adebajo

String Figures - a thousand tethered knots between you and me

String Figures was born from a desire to tether in physical form the ineffable nature of the love and connection we extend for others and ourselves. An exercise in making space for others, each photograph was crafted from conversations centred in practices of care, and ultimately materialised through “speculative fabulations” of string arrangements. 

Dolly, Hugo, Mike, Ahmira, Priya, Ejatu and Alayo embarked on a journey with Fikayo that prioritised rest, empathy and intimacy as radical acts in a world where connection is increasingly commodified and quantified.

Using 1,000 metres of twine, the materiality of string acts as a site of learning where and how we intersect and entangle with those around us. 

This collaborative and embodied approach to mending asks us to find joy in seeing and being seen, in moving slowly, in being uncertain and in sharing space. This work was born out of Fikayo's frustration with the Barbican’s response to Barbican Stories. With the need to carefully approach issues of reparative justice, this work presents a methodology for connecting authentically and restfully with others, allowing us to string together new figurations of the future. 

With many thanks to:

Alayo Akinkugbe
Mike and Ahmira Achode in collaboration with DECENT Magazine 
Dolly Chan 
Priya Jay
Hugo Schaepelynck
Ejatu Shaw

Fikayo Adebajo is a photographer and visual artist. She is passionate about using visual mediums to present people of colour, especially black women, through a three-dimensional lens. She tells stories that explore the full spectrum of the black emotive experience, creating space for existence outside the narrow confines of the marginalisation that seek to define.

Instagram: @fikayoadebajo 
 

black hands reaching out and touching strings

String Futures - a thousand tethered knots between you and me

String Figures was born from a desire to tether in physical form the ineffable nature of the love and connection we extend for others and ourselves. 

Artwork by Fikayo Adebajo.

Sena Appeah

Baobab epilogue: Oshun meets Doondari

Oshun meets Doondari tells a story of two deities from different cultural groups (yoruba and fulani) coming together, in dance and play, to create life. The deities dance by a baobab tree which is universally symbolic of ancestry, remembering loved ones, and strength. Everyone is invited to become part of the painting by engaging with the cutouts. For Appeah, repair is about coming together, appreciating and celebrating our beautiful differences. Through this work, she symbolises her optimism for our shared diverse future.

Sena Appeah is a self-taught artist who lives and works in London. Her paintings explore imagined surreal worlds which she paints spontaneously, following the automatism school of thought. She is inspired by dreams, philosophy and colour theory.

Instagram: @sena_a_art 
 

drawing of black woman

Baobab epilogue: Oshun meets Doondari

Baobab epilogue: Oshun meets Doondari tells a story of two deities from different cultural groups (yoruba and fulani) coming together, in dance and play, to create life.

Artwork by Sena Appeah.

Sally Barton

Brutal Bricks - the reimagining of Barbican history 

The building of the Barbican Estate began in 1963. During its construction, the site workers repeatedly went out on strike, fighting for greater protection of wages, and health and safety standards. 
Industrial history can be hard to engage with. It’s not typically glamorous or exciting, and the real-life impacts of industrial action on families and communities are often lost amongst statistics and academic language. 

These posters are intentionally provocative. By displaying original archive material out of context, they present more questions than answers to the audience, inviting them to engage with the working-class histories involved in building the Barbican. 

Stories of discrimination within the Barbican aren’t just historic. In June 2021, Barbican Stories was published, ‘a collection of first hand and witnessed accounts of discrimination at the Barbican Centre, written anonymously by current and former employees who have experienced racism.’

These works are about class struggle, the representation of working-class stories and the communities that built the same institution that often financially and socially excludes them. Is the relationship between major cultural institutions and intersectional working-class communities reparable? 

What is essential is for these histories to be re-imagined and re-told using empathy, care, and humour. 
Learn more about these histories here and here.
 

Sally Barton is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores class, the North of England, intergenerational relationships and storytelling. 

Instagram: @bartonmade
 

Poster that says 'Barbican workers fight police'

Brutal Bricks - the reimagining of Barbican history

"These posters are intentionally provocative. By displaying original archive material out of context, they present more questions than answers to the audience."

Artwork by Sally Barton.

Harry Cross

Solitary Birthday Wishes

Cross's latest installation reviews the artist’s personal history but keenly links to the here and now. 
With a font as its centrepiece, Cross reconnects with his family history and pays respect to the religious ritual of Baptism. Viewed as a deconstructed bathroom setting, Cross asks the audience to consider the act of ablution and what it means to them. Washing our hands, both as a way of sanitising our skin and of cleansing negative energy, he urges us to reflect on the way that this simple act can become a powerful source of compulsive ritual, and how wider society has engaged in this through the course of the pandemic. Using scent to trigger olfactory memory, Cross has worked with pleasant aromas and malodorous substances which he believes can connect people to their own personal experience.

Harry Cross is a multidisciplinary artist. He uses installation, sound and moving image to explore the relationship between time and memory, ritual and mental health, as well as isolation and escapism. He believes everything is interconnected and seeks to understand the correlation between important issues. 
 

image with containers

Solitary Birthday Wishes

Cross's latest installation reviews the artist’s personal history but keenly links to the here and now.

Artwork by Harry Cross.

Cora Sehgal Cuthbert

Unbound Love, Inspiring and Sustaining

In memory of her Papa, Vidya Sagar Sehgal, this piece consists of a collaborative shrine made by workshop participants, Cora, and her brother Freddie.

Sehgal Cuthbert can’t say she wants to repair her relationship with her Papa because it was never fully established. He passed away when she was quite young. Now, however, she wants to give love and attention to his memory so that, by learning more about him, she can reconnect to him.

Her bedroom in her Nan’s house used to be Papa’s puja/shrine room. To build a shrine is an act of love and attention. What better way to reconnect to her Papa than to build a shrine in his memory? Sehgal Cuthbert wanted to share this process with others because she thinks everyone has something in their lives which they wish to reconnect to. And, with her Papa’s convivial spirit in mind, she thinks love is always truest when practised collectively.

Cora Sehgal Cuthbert is a multi-disciplinary artist. Her work observes the connections between the personal, the cultural and a universal humanity/spirituality, with the aim of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Instagram: @coracuthbert

image of a shrine

Unbound Love, Inspiring and Sustaining

This piece consists of a collaborative shrine made by workshop participants, Cora, and her brother Freddie

Artwork by Cora Sehgal Cuthbert.

J Frank

Embodied

Embodied is waiting for you. What you desire, Embodied has it for you. The trans* body is deviant and kinky. A fetish is an object believed to have power over others. The trans* body has power here, it is sexy. You have the opportunity to step deeper, into the mind that inhabits the trans* body. Be consumed by its intimacy. Dial in and eavesdrop on the conversations of trans* folx late into the night. Observe as they repair themselves, their relationships and each other. Be engulfed by their voices, be attentive to their bodies, and see community.
 

J Frank explores the intersection between queerness and the cultural landscape in which it exists. Through making, the artist hopes to fully realise his own experience as a trans* being: “when I am queer I am.”; His work art is made up of fragments of acknowledgment, exploration and celebration of this.

Instagram: @fickle_dreams
 

poster from queer archives

Embodied

"Embodied is waiting for you. What you desire, Embodied has it for you."

Embodied explores the intersection between queerness and the cultural landscape.

Artwork by J Frank.

Victoria George

SKL: THE EXPERIENCE

The design technology department
I remember,
Textiles, Resistant Materials and Graphic Design
1 massive room 
divided into 3
The weight of the double doors
As I shift between  
Fabrics, machinery and electronics

Unknowingly stitching, sculpting, embedding 
a script.

The journey.
What can you hear?
Can you smell something?
Did you feel that?
I spy with my little eye…
I wonder what that is, what does it do?
How did that get there?
What do you see?
Have you ever enjoyed the journey more than the destination? 
Name 3 things you have recently experienced
What does it mean to have an experience?
How do choices and opinions influence decision-making?
Have you experienced something words can’t explain?
What can you accomplish when the experience is limited?
 

Victoria George is a London-based multidisciplinary artist. Her work explores experiences through spiritualism and textile practices. She has been awarded Gifted & Talented throughout her adolescent years, shaping her to always scout a new experience.

Instagram: @RUGFUN
 

skl artwork

SKL: THE EXPERIENCE

Artwork by Victoria George.

Kevin Ishimwe

You might not make it through the night…

Scars tell their own story. This artwork is the physical healing of trauma. Ishimwe would like to credit, dedicate, and thank his mother, Solange. Without her, this healing could not have occurred.
 

Kevin Ishimwe describes himself as a ‘chaotically curious artist, seeing the world through a colourful lens’. His photography fosters and champions a healthy disrespect for the 'impossible'. 

Instagram: @byaudience 
 

images of scarred black skin

You might not make it through the night…

This artwork is the physical healing of trauma. Ishimwe would like to credit, dedicate, and thank his mother, Solange. Without her, this healing could not have occurred.

Artwork by Kevin Ishimwe.

Jan Kamiński

The soil is very much fertile

The artist strays away from his usual way of working, offering a piece that is seemingly complete. Yet, while seemingly static, it remains aliveness and in motion. What appears is a form of confrontation, an invitation to dwell on life and death, up and down, heaven and hell, beginning and end. The time is stretched and apparent polarities strive for a possible merging. The theme of ‘repair’ is approached from the angle of mortality, death, endings and overs, offering a space for potential grieve, an intimate slow-down.
 

Jan Kamiński is an interdisciplinary artist completing his BA at Central Saint Martins in Fine Art. With a passion for cinema, he tries to investigate subjects of violence, death, body, feminine tropes, and the peripheries of mental states. 

Instagram: @belongstojan
 

hand holding a spade

The soil is very much fertile

The theme of ‘repair’ is approached from the angle of mortality, death, endings and overs, offering a space for potential grieve, an intimate slow-down.

Artwork by Jan Kamiński.

Nefeli Kentoni

Το[πύον] / the pus / landscape

Approaching repair with ambivalence. Understanding that sometimes the damage cannot be undone, but to nonetheless acknowledge it, recognize it, attempt it. A landscape transformed from a mine - to a wound - to a red lake. A landscape oozing underground water. A landscape transformed to a wet grave – to another wound – and now, to a map. A landscape oozing. Repair the unrepairable. An old trauma superimposing a new trauma. A map from the '60s superimposing google maps – what it was/what it is. Remembering as an attempt to repair – not letting the wounds be forgotten. Pus, the body’s response to an infection – the landscape’s attempt at healing. Scab, a reminder that here was/is an open wound; scratching it until there is no more blood, until there can be no more blood. 

For,
Livia Florentina Bunea
Elena Natalia Bunea
Maricar’s Valdez Arguiola
Arian Palanos Lozano
Asmita Khadka Bista
Mary Rose Tiburcio 
Siera Graze Seucalliuc

…and to all the immigrant women who dreamt of a better life.

Nefeli Kentoni is an interdisciplinary artist, theatre-maker and writer. She is fascinated by the intersections between different disciplines, by the spaces where scenography and philosophy, aesthetics and theatre, filmmaking and poetry meet.

Instagram: @nefairy
 

black and white distorted image

Το[πύον] / the pus / landscape

Approaching repair with ambivalence. Understanding that sometimes the damage cannot be undone, but to nonetheless acknowledge it, recognize it, attempt it. 

Artwork by Nefeli Kentoni.

L U C I N E

The Circle of UBUNTU 

Undo, redo. Delink, relink. Forfeit, reclaim. Repeat. 
The process of decolonisation, or better yet decoloniality, is not black or white, nor static or fixed. It is ongoing, evergoing, nonstop overcoming. 
The Circle of UBUNTU is an exploration of the aftermath of colonisation. How can one reclaim and repair their decimated roots? What can nature teach us about the process? 
Through sculpture work, video, performance and sound L U C I N E seeks to understand their process of decolonisation as a form of repair.
 

L U C I N E is a transdisciplinary music artist that believes in using a cross-arts approach to create unique, immersive experiences for people to enjoy and feel equal in. As a citizen of the world, they wish to retell stories of the human experience including their own, enabling them to express their innermost thoughts and feelings.

Instagram: @lisforlucine
 

digital image with pink and blue lines on a black background

The Circle of UBUNTU

The Circle of UBUNTU is an exploration of the aftermath of colonisation.

Artwork by L U C I N E.
 

Maite de Orbe

The Uncomfortable Room

The Uncomfortable Room responds to the theme of repair in defence of discomfort and awkwardness as key body placements that enact change. A room is delimited by the ends of a 2-metre-wide printed fabric, generating a physical space in which unease can be safely explored and embodied. This room manifests an idea of repair as a loud direct arrow that moves violently forward. It does not feel nostalgic about the past and does not take it as a point of reference. It claims that a repair aesthetics is one that desists to fall into the hypercomfortness but rather takes responsibility and bears the discomfort that the problem carries. Shown for the first time in this exhibition, The Uncomfortable Room aims to become a curatorial proposal in which the fabric unfolds, occupying diverse spaces, and is home to any form of art that tackles emotionally and physically violent themes.
 

Maite de Orbe is a photographer and artist working across photography, video and technology. Their work is based on three main themes: gender, belonging and spaces. The result is an amalgam of performative narratives that aim to raise questions about identity.

Instagram: @maitedeorbe
 

back of a person in underwear

The Uncomfortable Room

The Uncomfortable Room responds to the theme of repair in defence of discomfort and awkwardness as key body placements that enact change. 

Artwork by Maite de Orbe.

Karina Sellars-Hardy and Ioana Simion

Repair Studio

Repair Studio is a programme of workshops and guided discussions considering the creative potential of repair as an aesthetic, intuitive and embodied practice.

Suitable for all ages; children to be supervised by an adult.
To take part, sign up for sessions on the day at the entrance to the Repair Studio, Level G, Barbican Centre.

Saturday 7 May

11.30am-1pm
Creative mark-making with Artizine UK
Mark-making can allow us to create new forms of language through free expression, experimentation and imagination. In this collaborative workshop, Ioana from Artizine will be guiding participants through an explorative mark-making exercise.

1.30-3pm
String Theory – A Material Metaphors Workshop with Fikayo Adebajo
Led by artist Fikayo Adebajo, this session invites participants on a journey centring rest, empathy and collaboration. This includes guided meditation, conversation cards, and string art creation. This session is best experienced with someone you know.
 

Sunday 8 May

11.30am-1pm
Playground for our possible selves – Sculpture Workshop with Artizine UK
Using sculpture as a medium, participants are invited to construct their own imaginary playground to think through these concepts and discover ways in which playfulness, public space and radical imagination can create new ways to explore our inner selves.

1.30-3pm
Kintsugi Poetry Workshop with Phoebe Wagner
Kintsugi is an ancient Japanese practice of repair involving the restoration of ceramics with a mixture of lacquer and gold pigment. Using this technique as a basis, poet and facilitator Phoebe Wagner will incorporate Kintsugi principles in a collaborative poetry writing workshop.

3.30-5.30pm
Introduction to Tufting with Victoria George
Join Victoria George for an introductory workshop to rug making and hand-tufting techniques.
 

Repair Studio is curated by Karina Sellars-Hardy and Ioana Simion.

Ioana Simion is an arts facilitator and creative programmer based in London. Her facilitation practice involves developing collaborative learning methods based on the process behind making, play and creative intuition. 

Instagram: @artizineuk

 

re:repair studio

Repair Studio

Repair Studio is a programme of workshops and guided discussions considering the creative potential of repair as an aesthetic, intuitive and embodied practice.

Artwork by Karina Sellars-Hardy and Ioana Simion.

Sam Stewart

I love it when the images, when the images wash over me

I love it when the images, when the images wash over me tells of the artist's experience growing up with a meme account, narrated by a deep-fake modelled on himself. The film starts with the account’s creation at the age of 13 and is told using images and memes posted to the account in the 5-year period, tracking how posting has been used as a form of repair in different periods of his life.
 

Sam Stewart is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice engages with how physical and virtual spaces affect their occupants. This ranges from exploring the relationship between private and public space as mediated by hostile design, and his own experience as a young artist growing up online.

Instagram: @Sam953_ 
 

images layered on top of each other to create an image of boy with a green and blue cap

I love it when the images, when the images wash over me

Using images and memes posted in a 5-year period, tracking how posting has been used as a form of repair in different periods of his life.

Artwork by Sam Stewart.

Phoebe Wagner

LIMPIEZA EN PROGRESO / CLEANING IN PROGRESS

Co-created with the cleaning staff at the Barbican.

An audio-tour of Level G, where the cleaners polish, hoover, tidy and dust everyday. Listen to their stories, rituals, and see the architecture of their invisible reparative work.

Content Warning: this work contains references to blood and suicide.

In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email [email protected] or [email protected] The charity Mind is available on 0300 123 3393 and ChildLine on 0800 1111.
 

Video 1: Froilan Sterling Losada – Brillar
[Embedded Video of Froilan Sterling Losada - Brillar]

Audio 1: Rafael Tez. Garcia - El Suelo
[Embedded Soundcloud link of Rafael Tez. Garcia - El Suelo]
English Transcript [Rafael Tez. Garcia - El Suelo Transcript]

Audio 2: Aracy Lima - The Door Transcript
[Embedded Soundcloud link of Aracy Lima - The Door] 
English Transcript [Aracy Lima - The Door Transcript]

Audio 3: Sandra Farhani Cuesta - La Gente
[Embedded Soundcloud link of Sandra Farhani Cuesta - La Gente Transcript]
English Transcript [Sandra Farhani Cuesta - La Gente Transcript]
 

Phoebe Wagner is a poet and community artist. Her work explores the politics in the personal, working in collaboration with people. 

Instagram: @phoebesarahwagner

Froilan Sterling Losada - Brillar

Video of Froilan Sterling Losada - Brillar