Witchcraft. Crafting is embedded in witchery, part of the practice of magic. From crafty or cunning crones to charms and casting spells; from spinning, traditions, rituals, weaving, to herbs, botanics and potions – craft, creation, myth and mystery all surround the occult. Witchcraft is intimately linked with ‘women’s work’ and the domestic arts – in […]
Nisha Ramayya is a poet and lecturer in Creative Writing at Queen Mary, University of London. Her recent book, States of the Body Produced by Love was published by Ignota in 2019. She has kindly allowed Decorating Dissidence to feature a ‘ritual selection’ of her poetry, which resonates with the rituals of craft, creation and […]
Xenobia Bailey’s career is as eclectic and colourful as the spiral crochet patterns that form a key part of her aesthetic. Having studied ethnomusicology at the University of Washington and Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute, she went on to work as a costume designer for Black Arts West and learnt to crochet at the […]
When graphic designer Michael Eaton contacted musician King Khan he was gifted a very special commission: “I had been a huge fan of his music for years and it just so happened he was thinking of making this Tarot deck so it was appropriate timing”. King Khan is well-versed in tarot and had studied it for […]
My current body of work examines witch trials and witch-persecution, in European history, and as a metaphorical lens through which to explore some of the fears and prejudices of our own time. I know that the absolute truth of past events is inaccessible. All I am doing is reflecting my own fantasies, attitudes and prejudices, […]
Art and Ethnography Jane’s approach to the production of art that refers to ancient or other cultures comes from an intention to firstly understand something of those cultures and this she does through reading. Sourcing books and information in various outlets including the internet, those books in turn referencing further reading, thus she gathers information […]
The Modernism and Alternate Spiritualities symposium, held at the Royal College of Art, was a day brimming with rich discourse on what the focussed study of personal and organised belief systems can provide to the expanding understanding of the literary, arts and social movements of modernity. Despite the seemingly niche nature of the symposium’s guiding […]
A Doorway In As I settled into my new routine, I began to explore the country, visiting Loch Lomond and the Hebrides, the Highlands and Orkney. While I felt such joy in each new place, I still had trouble connecting to the place-specific energy of the land. And so, I developed A Doorway In as […]
‘Machina Incantatii’ (latin for ‘Spell Machine’) was conceived to explore the question of how digital tools can be used to create and introduce spiritual experiences by emulating a magical ritual of spell writing. Creation of individualised texts can inspire users to explore their thoughts and find answers within themselves through interpreting the short texts. By […]
For this issue of Decorating Dissidence we wanted to reflect on last year’s centenary of the Bauhaus. Now at 101 years, the celebrations may be over but the movement’s legacy still offers much to be learned, developed and reflected on. Building on the themes of our exhibition Weave It! we want to create a space […]
‘Something speaks to us, a sound, a touch, hardness or softness, it catches us and asks us to be formed’ – Anni Albers, ‘Material as Metaphor’ (1982) 2019 marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Bauhaus, an experimental German art school that sought to reimagine the role of art and design in everyday […]
Amongst the latest in Bauhaus Centenary exhibition offerings comes RIBA’s ‘Beyond Bauhaus: Modernism in Britain, 1933-66’, an innovative installation of archival materials arranged inside temporary columns with geometric peep-holes cut at varying heights. Anchored in the 1930s, the exhibition presents a rich survey of avant-gardism in British architecture and design, augmented by international trends and […]
There has been a noticeable shift, more recently, to recognise the women of the Bauhaus and to provide the space to critically engage with their production…
How much Bauhaus is too much Bauhaus? A question many Germans might have asked themselves this year as every street corner in every village attempted to prove a link modernism’s most famous institution.
In 1922, ‘Bauhaus in Calcutta‘ saw artists travel from Germany to India to exhibit work and sketches alongside modern Indian artists like Nandalal Bose and Sunayani Devi. In conversation with the Visva-Bharati school, founded by poet, musician and artist Rabindranath Tagore, it came at a time when Indian artists were seeking a modernist language outside […]
This year will see Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao begin her design for an aquarium in Mazatlán. But this is ‘not a zoo for fish‘. Instead, Bilbao’s studio will work within the Brutalist structures to create an eco-friendly, sustainable research centre that seeks to enrich its surroundings. We chose to spotlight Bilbao’s work in this Bauhaus special […]
The artistic experimentation and innovation within the space of the domestic speaks to Bauhaus’s relationship with functionality, a sense of home, modernity, domesticity, space and interiority.
The William Morris Gallery’s compact but eye-opening exhibitions in their temporary gallery space never disappoint – and Pioneers: William Morris and the Bauhaus is no exception.
‘Home is no longer a dwelling but the untold story of a life being lived.’ John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos The praxis and history of craft is intimately intertwined with the domestic. Its domesticity is linked to the status it has long held as a devalued art form: craft is […]
Hull-based artist Ella Dorton’s fabric portraits creatively capture the unique spirit of the city’s residents, giving a voice to those who have been left behind by society and, indeed, by City of Culture year.
Themes of domesticity underlie this exhibition, highlighting the complex ways that motherhood and domestic spaces go hand in hand in our collective imaginary.
I don’t want to sweep the floor any moreI don’t want to sweep the floor anymoreI must have swept it 10 times todayI don’t want to sweep the floor anymore. It’s dull, monotonous, dreary, drabirksome, humdrum, nut-dummin’ banal.I havna nothing ‘gainst sweeping per seI quite like it actually;but to do it quite as much as […]
Our spotlight this month is the mixed-media artist Blandine Martin. Martin works with materials including sand, recycled paper and timber to combine the organic with the abstract. Looking at objects and their place within the domestic sphere, Martin questions and transforms everyday objects, their assumed function and associated rituals, particularly rituals involving women. Objets sans […]
Offering a critique of imperialist thought, Edward Said’s Orientalism created a paradigmatic shift in understanding the relationship between Western (Occidental) and non-Western (Oriental) cultures. Yet Orientalism still pervades mainstream representations of non-Western cultures, which oscillate between intense fetishization and demonization, often in almost the same breath. See for example Dalia Dawood’s description of the Aladdin […]
As is evidenced by Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner Too?, the process of acknowledging and voicing forgotten (or erased) histories of the oppressed in order to engender a form of dignity is at the core of Kaersenhout’s artistic practice.