Opening hours Gallery: Wednesday to Sunday 12–5pm

The Body-Forest Participatory Workshops

The Body-Forest Participatory Workshops

Adham Faramawy, The air is subtle, various and sweet (2020-1) video, 35 minutes

Information

Information

The Body-Forest was a programme of engagement activities and public events devised by Jack Young, recipient of the 2022 Spike Island Engagement Fellowship for South West-based Curators.

As part of the Body-Forest programme, we invited various artists to facilitate workshops with young people across Bristol. These artists were Adham Faramawy, Linda Stupart, Vanessa Melody and Rosina Al-Shaater.

Queer Ecologies
Spring 2022
Adham Faramawy

Adham Faramawy led a workshop on queer ecologies with Creative Youth Network’s Proud to Be group. This workshop explored the origins of the term queer ecologies with scholar Catriona Sandilands, and interspecies intimacies and desire via the comic Swamp Thing, Ursula K. Le Guin’s fiction and their own film work in Skin Flick (2019). The workshop also looked at ideas of Indigenous knowledge of landscape and time and different expressions of dreaming within societies.

References:

  • Adham’s film work the air is various subtle and sweet, Skin Flick, view on the artist’s website
  • Catriona Sandilands on Queer Ecologies
  • Ocean Vuong’s ‘On earth we’re Briefly Gorgeous
  • Bhanu Kapil’s poetry
  • Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story vaster than empires and more slow, and The Word for World is Forest
  • Swamp thing Issue 34, Vertigo comics series
  • Sophia Al-Maria’s essay on science fiction the prime radiant is broken and so is my heart, read here

Outside Nature
Summer 2022
Linda Stupart

Linda Stupart’s workshop involved a group of young people from Off the Record’s Freedom and Creative Youth Network’s Proud to Be, and explored their multi-disciplinary work relating to queer theory, climate crisis, science fiction, language, desire and revenge, through a screening of their film after the ice, the deluge and then a series of activities exploring urban plant life, printmaking and bodies beyond narrow categories of individual species.

Felix Road Playground / Leigh Woods
Summer 2022
Vanessa Melody and Rosina Al-Shaater

Artists and facilitators Vanessa Melody and Rosina Al-Shaater worked with a group of children aged 8-12 years old from Felix Road Adventure Playground, run by Eastside Community Trust. The workshop started with a series of interactive games and sensory activities, using the five senses to ground them in their surroundings, as well as Caribbean folk songs and dance to allow the children to explore their connections to nature. The main activity involved collecting natural materials from the woods, such as moss, sticks and conkers, to create a wall hanging to be displayed at Felix Road Adventure Playground. The day culminated with a visit to Spike Island to see the exhibition Amitai Romm: Hum, thinking about art making in relation to nature.

JACK YOUNG

Jack Young is a writer, educator and participatory artist living in Bristol. He writes experimental fiction and non-fiction with a focus on queer ecologies, and his hybrid chapbook URTH was published by Big White Shed in 2022. He co-hosts the literary podcast Tender Buttons in partnership with Storysmith bookshop in Bedminster. As an educator, he works with young people using arts-based critical pedagogy, with a particular emphasis on multilingual filmmaking, applied theatre and creative writing, to explore themes ranging from fabulist approaches to reanimating historical archives, to queer ecologies and speculative fiction. He has worked with schools and institutions in Barcelona, London and Bristol, including MACBA, Institut Broggi, the Royal Academy, Horniman Museum, Tate, Gasworks, Spike Island, UWE Bristol, Acta Theatre and Artspace Lifespace. www.jackmyoung.net.

Adham Faramawy

Adham is an artist based in London. Their work spans media including moving image, sculptural installation and print, engaging concerns with materiality, touch, and toxic embodiment to question ideas of the natural in relation to marginalized communities. https://adhamfaramawy.com/

Linda Stupart

Linda Stupart is an artist, writer and educator from Cape Town in South Africa. They live in Birmingham in the UK. Their work is about bodies, ideas, and things, that don’t fit into near categories, that move between states – like bleeding women; genderqueer people; and melting icebergs. https://lindastupart.net

Rosina Al-Shaater

Rosina Al-Shaater’s interests and skills are eclectic, yet united in mission. She is drawn to anything that contributes towards a more inclusive, unified and sustainable world. She centres her work around social justice, environmental action and creativity. She believes all three are interlinked. Social justice is climate justice, and creativity is the most powerful way to inform and challenge, catalysing conscious shifts and meaningful behavioural change. Nature is also inherently creative. Within all this is self and collective wellbeing and care, which is also an area she likes to focus much of her work. As an artist, her main passions are music (vocalist), illustration and multimedia storytelling/documentary, with a recent and very personal focus on challenging negative perceptions around female facial hair, exploring conditioning around gender within different cultures.

Off the Record: Freedom

Freedom is Off The Record’s gender and sexuality social action project. Group sessions are social, informative and safe supportive spaces. In Freedom Youth (13–18 years), sessions are filled with workshops on topics such as housing, relationships, mental health, gender and sexuality, keeping safe and more. Members decide the programme which always includes games, socials, trips and creative activities. In the 18–25 years group, members can gain experience in campaigning, activism, mentoring and event organising. Members lead the group and are supported by friendly and experienced youth workers. https://www.otrbristol.org.uk/what-we-do/freedom

Creative Youth Network: Proud to Be

Group sessions in a safe and supportive space for LGBT+ young people (11–19 years), including games and fun activities, arts and crafts and sports.  Trained youth workers provide information, advice and guidance and are always on hand for a friendly chat.
https://www.creativeyouthnetwork.org.uk/proud-to-be

Felix Road Adventure Playground

Felix Road Adventure Playground provides children in East Bristol with the space to connect with nature and freedom for outside physical play. The play space offers children the freedom to grow, explore, be creative, experiment, take measured risks, and enjoy a healthy happy childhood. Supervised by trained qualified playworkers. who are always on hand to offer help, support and advice, children are encouraged to test their abilities and problem-solve. https://eastsidecommunitytrust.org.uk/our-places/felix-road

Partners and Supporters

Part of the West of England Visual Arts Alliance programme, supported by Arts Council England.