Picnic with Wingshan Smith

'Picnic' by Wingshan Smith, 2020. 

Wingshan Smith has reimagined her contribution to the Communal Lunches programme, creating Picnic, a new instructional video work which will be available online until 30 September 2020. 

Part tutorial, part ritual, this is a spell to welcome a little chaos. To find strength in disorder. To purge the unwanted. Perform this spell on a waning moon. A time to put something to rest. Welcome wildness this season. 

Wingshan will guide you through a meditative seasonal ritual to create wild flower seed balls infused with the intention of releasing your troubles. Plant by throwing them into any space where things can grow – your garden, unloved roadsides, alleyways, urban tree pits and so on.

Filled with clips from home movies, old paintings of European markets, and gardens in bloom, Picnic conjures complicated feelings of personal responsibility with messy colonial histories of food and its ‘ordered’ dominion over nature.


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. 

This project is part of Mansions of the Future’s Lincoln Live programme March – August 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.

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