Event: A Gathering on Art and Land

Event: A Gathering on Art and Land

A Gathering on Art and Land is a day centring art and design-led approaches to planting, farming, seeding, gardening and burying. Through conversations and presentations, the event explores our relationship to the land, using ground and soil practices to start ecological conversations and reveal their potential for transformation, regeneration, and hope. The programme includes a talk with Yinka Shonibare CBE RA who will discuss his exhibition Suspended States and his ongoing commitment to environmentalism and interdisciplinary exchange in his practice. This will be followed by G.A.S. residency alumni and RCA BLK members Remi Kuforiji and Graeme Smith, in conversation with Yinka Shonibare Foundation CEO Belinda Holden.


Date: 13th July 2024

Time: 11:00am  - 5:30pm

Location: Serpentine Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA


The event forms part of Serpentine’s wider Infinite Ecologies Marathon, a long durational project that looks at the world-building potential of culture in the face of ecological destruction. Committing to working towards planetary thriving, this interdisciplinary series centres artist-led reimaginings for environmental action.


This gathering advocates for imagination and coexistence with the non-human world, platforming alternative ways of understanding and relating to the land in the face of a destructive, globalised discourse. Highlighting the importance of creativity, Indigenous land management and communal engagement, A Gathering on Art and Land underscores the transformative power of culture and stewardship, emphasising how artists engage directly with the earth in their practices.


Remi Kuforiji hosting his workshop Playful Preservation at G.A.S. Lagos.


As part of the programme, Guest Artists Space (G.A.S.) Foundation alumni and RCA BLK members Remi Kuforiji and Graeme Smith, in conversation with Yinka Shonibare Foundation CEO Belinda Holden, will discuss their ongoing practices and the site-specificity of the work they created while in residence at G.A.S. Foundation. 


Remi Kuforiji’s residency was partly preoccupied with researching Lagos Island’s Afro-Brazilian history with a particular focus on speculating collective approaches to architectural preservation. Culturally entrenched in the area since the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Lagos Island’s Afro-Brazilian quarter became an enclave for formerly enslaved people returning to the continent from South America, Europe, and Sierra Leone.


Glass sculptures and beads presented by Graeme Smith during his talk African Glass Futures at G.A.S. Lagos.


Graeme Smith’s residency focussed on expanding his research into 18th-century bead trade and glass craft with a focus on Sub-Saharan glass-making technology that emerged in Nigeria. During a stay at G.A.S. Farm House, Graeme researched local approaches to ceramic production. He developed prototypes for vessels using laterite soil, fibres, and various natural glazes and mineral sealants found on the land. 


Using the intersection of the theme ‘A Gathering on Art and Land’ and their urban and rural perspectives as a point of departure, Remi and Graeme will discuss their responses to creatively engaging with indigenous and historical approaches to cultural and land preservation uncovered during their respective residencies.


Graeme Smith and Remi Kuforiji's residencies were generously supported by the Royal College of Art Association of Black Students, Alumni & Friends (RCA BLK). 



Date: 13th July 2024



11:00am - Introductions

11:15am - Sandra Knecht

12.00pm - Caroline Jones in-conversation with Lucia Pietrouisti

1:00pm - Carla Subrizi and Kalpana Arias in-conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist

3:00pm - Yinka Shonibare CBE RA in-conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist

3:45pm - G.A.S. Foundation takeover: Remi Kuforiji and Graeme Smith in-conversation with Belinda Holden

5:00pm - Sky Hopinka

5:45pm - END

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