EKKI MUKK FILM STILL – Nick Abrahams
Nick Abrahams presents a spiritual voice in nature as a direct response to a dismay with the current state of the world with his film Ekki Mukk. His other included works showcase what he has created for the renowned folk singer and song collector Shirley Collins, also the voice of the lost snail in Ekki Mukk. Collins has recently reemerged as performer and recording artist after 38 years silence having rediscovered her lost voice. Abrahams has described his work as “a way our imagination plays an active part in our relationship to nature”, so it is no surprise that he should work with Collins and that he chose to use Ward’s corn dollies from Home Rites in the Death and the Lady video also on show.
HAM STREET: EMPIRE CELBRATIONS AROUND THE PUMP MAY 1908 (Collection of Andy Turner)
Andy Turner will perform a selection of songs from traditional sources as well as present a selection of historic photographs. Turner has been singing folk songs for over 40 years and counts Collins as an important early inspiration. Andy was born to a Kentish family with deep association to the county. His family was intertwined with Ward’s from childhood and his mother was an avid collector and archivist of folk traditions. He has made a point of researching and performing songs from Kent so is well-placed to present a relevant and illuminating programme drawing from his wealth of knowledge.
SLOWLY AND ONE BY ONE – Cathy Ward and Eric Wright
Eric Wright has collaborated with Ward on a number of major exhibitions over several decades. Sculptures & banners on altar cloths from Transromantik and Tender Vessels will appear in TRYST. He will explore further musical connections with a presentation charting American county music, its obvious linage from English folk and the entry of the steel guitar into that cannon.
CHAOS IN HARMONY – Cathy Ward
Cathy Ward, with her drawings incised into a layer of india ink, presents an “inner landscape” that has spiritual and visionary qualities. Her drawings are unplanned and by their nature manifest a great deal of psychic energy. Through the word “tryst” and its estrangement from both its history and its connections with the land, we see how Wards drawings bring us neatly back.
Along with Ward’s fetishised tree sculptures and collected items including obsolete agricultural impliments and archival photographs, plus the work from the other artists there is a totality in approach that achieves a common end. The tryst at Conquest House finds the participants engaged with their own particular nostalgic enchantment with the past.
Conquest House itself is a catalyst that drew the elements of this exhibition together, its very fabric having witnessed such over and again throughout its complex history.
Kathryn Rennie, Artist In Residence will also have her work on show for the duration and there will be a programme of related special events and guest performances throughout the exhibition.