Launching our 2019/20 season, we are delighted to present Waking the Witch: Old Ways, New Rites – an exhibition looking at the importance of craft, ritual and land to the practice of the ever-shifting figure of the witch.
The British Isles have a particularly strong relationship to magic and the occult, with the chants of witchcraft echoing throughout their history. Traditional witchcraft has a strong connection to the earth with an intimate knowledge of herbs, plants and the elements – as well as the human body. As gatekeepers to altered consciousness, witches have been both feared and sought out for their dealings with the unknown. Historically persecuted as an outsider, the witch has been taken on by artists as a challenging force to prevailing norms and as a symbol of dissidence. Looking to symbols, tools and the coven as a space for focusing collective intent, the artists in this exhibition explore the path of the witch as one for how we can connect with the earth and each other.
Artists: Verity Birt, Anna Bunting-Branch, Nadine Byrne, Mary Beth Edelson, Fiona Finnegan, Blue Firth, Fourthland, Georgia Horgan, Ben Jeans Houghton, Serena Korda, Candice Lin, Katarzyna Majak, Monica Sjöö, Lucy Stein, Ayesha Tan Jones, and Cathy Ward.
Waking the Witch is a UK touring exhibition curated by Legion Projects and supported by Arts Council England and Arts Council Wales.
Bonington Vitrines #13: Wayne Burrows - Works from the Hallucinated Archive
Just outside the gallery, you’ll find the Bonington Vitrines – two display cases that present an ever-changing series of projects which run alongside the exhibitions.
In Works from the Hallucinated Archive, Wayne Burrows brings together material by six artists (five real, one fictional) who work across a range of media and traditions but all share an interest in ideas around folklore, spiritual belief and art as psychic manifestation or transmission.
The artworks and fictional ephemera featured work together as something that exists between a curated group show and a single installation to generate a kind of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ rabbit-hole: a collage portal into a parallel world that may already exist within the familiar yet often nightmarish one we currently inhabit.