PERFORMANCE

The Apple Tree (As a Flag)

Every apple tree may bear a rotten fruit. 

“A tree is a weed if it is in the wrong place.”

I adopted a self-seeded apple tree about four years ago, rescuing it from a construction site where it was about to be destroyed. I decided to give it a chance by planting the tree in a pot. Happily, the tree responded well and has even given me some apples.

To develop the shape of the tree as a flag, I cut some branches and wired others so that they would grow in a direction that reinforced the shape. This flag is alive, but at the same time it was being manipulated to take the direction I wanted. I feel that the wired branches are how many people in the world experience their lives: they are wired and tied, their growth controlled and manipulated. Their roots are constrained and are not allowed to expand. The cut branches represent those people that want to be free, that want to express themselves and have a say, visibility, a chance, opportunities. But they are silenced by being cut.

The Apple Tree is being manipulated, both its visible branches and also its invisible roots. Each of our personal landscapes are being shaped, depending on the society we live in and its politics, government and the Establishment.

The Apple Tree has many connotations: Religious, Sexual, Health, Nutritional, Industrial, Environmental, Political, Social.

I will continue to prune and train the tree into a flag-like shape so that finally it will form a flag on a flagpole - a symbol representing the lack of inter-governmental agreement on policies to address climate change. Governments adopt a symbolic position – like this flag – but they only talk, without taking meaningful action. Yet, actions are urgently needed before is too late. Our place in this world is on a countdown.

Some of the artists I researched to get inspiration from supporting my ideas and work are: John Gerrard who created a simulated flag of black smoke as a symbol of climate change. Abraham Cruzvillegas in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern: The Site for Empty Lot.

Anselm Kieffer installation: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow.

Screenshot 2021-06-18 at 18.42.07.png

Walking My Pet

Walking MY PET highlights pressing socio-political and environmental issues whilst challenging entrenched perceptions of reality.

We live in a time of devastation. The destructive consequences of industrialised societies and impacts that are progressively destroying the planet inspired me to create Walking MY PET.

 

The work reflects upon humanity’s blindness and deafness to the devastation being wreaked on our very own home – Planet Earth - due to our negligent behaviour and ignorance of environmental consequences. Although governments cannot agree on how to address today’s emergency, hope remains as long as we can recognise the problem, identify solutions and take action. A seismic shift is required in our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it, with a global effort to defend and heal our planet from the damage caused by human activities such as mining, agriculture, deforestation and consumerism. Changed interaction with the natural world is urgently needed before it is too late.

Francis Alys and Alastair Maclennan inspired this walking performance. Gustav Metzger’s concept of Auto-destructive Art and Donna J. Haraway’s book “Staying with the Trouble” invite us to reconfigure the relationship between the Earth and all its inhabitants.

Our planet is making a noise.

It is shouting at us in a multitude of ways: there is a desperate need to take action.

The planet’s voice is disregarded and ignored.

We must listen and urgently engage with solutions.

Our time is counting down.

Walking MY PET video was made before lockdown in London and during lockdown in Hertfordshire.

Screenshot 2020-04-20 at 19.03.29.png

W|E
West | East

My journey across London from West to East revealed the diversity of communities differing dramatically in ethnic mix and cultural identity. This coexistence contrasts with many historical conflicts between West and East, often fuelled by the purposeful exaggeration of differences between peoples or cultures, as Samuel Huntington described in his controversial article “The Clash of Civilisation” [1]

Conflicts and strife generate vast waves of migration globally, putting strains upon receiving communities where difference, rather than commonality, becomes the paradigm.  However, alongside the many contrasts across London, commonalities are easily observed. Sometimes the more abstract banalities of the quotidian, common objects and experiences emphasise the diversity of peoples coexisting in a city.

My project focuses on banal objects. Collecting, cleaning and migrating these items between West and East, I aim to capture unifying features of places whilst also acknowledging the migration of people. Puddles of dirty water and patches of grass look the same regardless of location. Objects found along the route were symbolically cleansed. Parted of their long-held possessions and with their substance revealed beneath, they looked equally at home when relocated.

My art installation displays puddles and grass collected on my journey West to East across London. Recognising they are indistinguishable, the central exhibit of each is a fusion of both sides. The symbolism aims to cut through the many judgmental perceptions of migrants. All humankind – as Yoko Ono captured in her poem “We Are All Water” - should have an equal place in society, regardless of location.

 

water talk

 

you are water

I’m water

we’re  all water in different containers

that’s why it’s so easy to meet

someday we’ll evaporate together

 

but even after the water’s gone

we’ll probably point out to the  containers

and say, “ that’s me there, that one.”

we’re container minders

 

Yoko Ono

For  Half-A-Wind Show, Lisson Gallery,

London, 1967

 

[1] “Differences among civilizations are too basic in that civilizations are differentiated from each other by history, language, culture, tradition, and, most importantly, religion. These fundamental differences are the product of centuries and the foundations of different civilizations, meaning they will not be gone soon.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20110720165019/http://edvardas.home.mruni.eu/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/huntington.pdf

 

 

Screenshot 2020-04-20 at 20.01.22.png
Screenshot 2020-04-20 at 20.01.33.png
6navpuddle jar3.jpg

Medium: Collected Puddles in Jars

Size: 80x50cm

Killing Saint Jerome

Painting on ice. “green paint” on  frozen pond

Practical experiment: auto-destructive painting on ice

 

Responding to the concerns of my manifesto project on climate change, I was inspired by the Olafur Eliasson’s and  Minik Rosin’s art installation ‘Ice Watch”.

 

I created a painting on the surface ice of a frozen pond. The sun rose and slowly started melting the work. This metaphorical, auto-destructive work reflects my interest in calling attention to climate change and environmental issues.

Screenshot 2020-04-20 at 19.35.01.png
Screenshot 2020-04-20 at 19.34.48.png
IMG_0002.jpg

Work in Progress

Bond House
BH28
London, 2016​
University of Arts London
Camberwell College of Arts
Final Year show
London, 2015
"GAUGUIN'S CHALLENGE - IN THE AMAZON"

Kurripacos' Art

Workshop in the Amazon
Inírida
Colombia, 2015

I travelled to the Colombian Amazon seeking inspiration from the indigenous art in the region where I grew up. From my first hand experience working with the Kurripacos, I went on to develop and create a painting that has advanced my own artistic practice whilst pushing me into new areas and realisations. 

This video documents a "Live Project" undertaken as part of the final year of my BA Painting course at UAL Camberwell, London.

 

TOMEDES