Inspired by the Collection: Incantation Bowls

20 Jun 2019 – 31 Jul 2019

Event times

During library opening hours. To make a viewing appointment, please write to: cassy.sachar@lbc.ac.uk

Cost of entry

Free, but visitors are required to RSVP to the PV. To RSVP for the PV or to make a viewing appointment during library opening hours, please write to: cassy.sachar@lbc.ac.uk

Leo Baeck College Library

England, United Kingdom


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Inspired by books in the collection about incantation bowls, the artists use print and ceramics to investigate the power of mantra in altering mind states, and the power of personal, playful practice to transform reality. Work by L. Roberts and Juliet Fleming. Curated by Cassy Sachar.


Aramaic Incantation Bowls were used in Babylon between the third and seventh centuries to ward off demons and protect homes. Buried in the ground underneath homes, and inscribed with quotes from Jewish texts, the bowls were considered to have powerful, miraculous effects. In this exhibition, inspired by books in the Leo Baeck College Library collection which look at incantation bowls, ancient Jewish magic, and amulets, the artists use print and ceramics to investigate the power of mantra in altering mind states and the power of personal, playful practice to transform reality. The medium of print emphasizes repetition and mantra - each print pulled mirroring the one before, yet slightly different, like repeating the same line again and again. The mantras are the kinds of lines you’d hear at a yoga class, from your local Rabbi, or in your favourite self-help book. Both satirical and playful, serious and profound, the prints and bowls emerge from a new age era where we all dress up as witches and magicians and tell our own stories about it. Thinking we are in charge of our destiny, thinking we can change the world, thinking the same thought again and again, and at the centre is something unknown, something unattainable and ungraspable - nothing, really.

L. Roberts (b. 1992 St. Louis) is an artist-printmaker living and working in London. She hand-prints from found wood to create large scale installations. Her work explores themes of death, mortality, repetition, and presence. She has an MA from Camberwell College in Printmaking, and is part of the Collective Studio 2018-2019 at The Newbridge Project. She has shown her work in galleries around London, Newcastle/Gateshead, and New York City. Residencies include: Listhus, Stiwdio Maelor, Oficina Bartolomeu dos Santos (OBS), ChaNorth (Chashama), Contemporary Artists Center (CAC). She hosts regular workshops and events as part of tbc, a group she co-founded in 2019.

Juliet Fleming (b.1991 London) lives and works in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Fleming is an Artist who works with ceramics.
“I make work collaboratively: in material and execution, sometimes both. I combine ceramics with textiles and have always been drawn towards to the tactility of clay and its inherent contrast with fabric. At first, time in the ceramics workshop felt like a dirty secret, but years later I still find myself spellbound by the “present opening” nature of the process. Ceramics and textiles have been used for telling and retelling histories and mythologies, for thousands of years on tapestries and ceramic sculptures. I draw on carefully selected historic motifs and accounts to be interwoven with my own imagined stories to explore women bonding through shared experience. Though clay is not without its frustrations, I’ve often thought of solely working with other materials, but clay is a love affair I cannot hide.” Fleming is Co-Founder and Director of GOLDTAPPED.

Cassy Sachar originally studied Fine Art, specialising in bookbinding and book arts. She completed her MA in Library & Information Studies at UCL and has worked in art and academic libraries for the last 10 years. She is interested in medieval manuscript illustration and when not doing book-related things sings in an acapella choir.

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Cassy Sachar

Exhibiting artists

Juliet Fleming

L. Roberts


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