Live Online Communal Well Dressing with Arianne Churchman

Image courtesy & copyright Arianne Churchman. 

Over Zoom artist Arianne Churchman performed a collective instructional ritual inviting participants to construct and decorate their own ‘wells’ or vessels, using non-toxic modelling clay distributed via post. Inspired by the Derbyshire tradition of Well Dressing Arianne presented sites for cross-pollination and overlapping histories. These sites or portals transported us, encouraging engagement with the ancient water and the histories of spirits that dwell within.

For the commission Arianne has created a bespoke Well Dressing Zoom background, click here to download. A soundtrack developed by Arianne in tandem with her performance, and containing extra material, is now available for those looking to repeat the ritual or enjoy the incantation as a piece of sound art, click here to listen via SoundCloud.

Arianne Churchman (b.1988, Suffolk) is a London based artist whose work traverses video, performance and sound. Her practice concerns British folklore, customs and beliefs, which she uses as material to create new ritual assemblages that invoke speculative futures from the past. Arianne holds an MFA in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, and a BA in Fine Art from the University of Reading. Recent exhibitions and performances include Folkloric Wormhole, Xero, Kline and Coma, London; Live Event with Benedict Drew, Arianne Churchman and Potato Band, iMT Gallery, London; Fungal Mumming (in collaboration with AAS), The Intimate Space, London; Works From the Hallucinated Archive, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham; The Art of Magic, The Horse Hospital, London; HORSE-PLAY, Nottingham Castle, Nottingham. Arianne has twice been an artist in residence at Metal, Peterborough, first for Metal Harvest and secondly in collaboration with Chloe Langlois for the Arts Council funded project New Henge Heritage. She frequently releases sound works and collaborates with the record label the Folklore Tapes and her sound works have been played on BBC Radio 3, NTS and Resonance FM. She often collaborates with other artists and musicians including Chloe Langlois, Sharron Kraus and AAS.

This project is part of Mansions of the Future’s Communal Lunches programme and Lincoln Live season, March – September 2020 (Season extended in response to COVID-19). Departing from Lincoln’s rich entertainment and theatre history, Lincoln Live features new commissions which exist at the intersections of disciplinary boundaries. The season is a celebration of performative ventures that stand resolutely marginal to both the history of English theatre and the often exclusive, disciplinary rhetoric of contemporary performance art. 

Monthly Communal Lunches have been a pillar of Mansions of the Future’s programme since the project launched. In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, as a necessary precaution and commitment to the wellbeing of artists, our staff, volunteers and the wider community all upcoming Communal Lunches were postponed. In this moment we are working with commissioned artists to rethink and reimagine how the format can be interpreted, how new work can be shared and enjoyed together with audiences in a safe, virtual, domestic and necessarily personal environment.

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