Fungus Press Residency // Mandisa Apena // made known and navigated through
// 4 June – 1 Aug 2019
// At Sites Around Croydon; Turf Projects (Keeley Rd CR0 1TF), Wandle Park, Reeves Corner, Park Hill Park
A shared consciousness sits in the roots of trees, spreads, grows…
Our stunted relationship with the natural earth means we are misplacing signs critical to our survival. In this current climate meltdown, humans can not afford to ignore the bountiful information stored within nature that’s being shared with us.
made known and navigated through is a journey through our local woods and beyond, with the aim of gathering knowledge and documenting these encounters. It’s also an attempt to publicise a private record of relearning how to direct oneself in the absence of commonplace signage.
Through the process of psychogeography, and the practice of Guy Debord’s ‘dérive’ (drift; unplanned journeys through a certain terrain, exploring by way of emotion and instinct), I explored the ‘public’ landscape of the woods, that often felt very private and distant. I imagined what kind of knowledge we could collectively glean from communing with our natural environment, especially in London. Consequently, I co-led a workshop with poets Tice Cin and Zahrah Sheikh. We used the human body and mind as a conduit for the voice of nature, embedding ourselves in a local woods (Coombe Woods) and using the framework of dreams to ‘let nature speak’ via our subconscious.
We can retune with natural spaces through engaging quietly with them – taking directionless walks and rebranching, limb to limb. We can walk without aim or direction, a transgression and rebellion of everyday politics.
This is part of an on-going project about modern communication. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and stories of communication with/in nature. Please email email@example.com to get in contact.
// ABOUT MANDISA APENA
mandisa apena is a cancer sun and part time vegan from South London. they are interested in contemporary art, ecology, dreams and post-apocalyptic cannibalism. they are a Barbican Young Poet alumni, member of London Queer Writers, host of occasional queer poetry night poetry: ‘hot 4 u’ and author of self-published poetry book ‘and twice as bitter’.
// ABOUT FUNGUS PRESS
As concerns grow regarding the privatisation of public spaces across London, and elsewhere, Fungus Press invites artists, designers & writers to respond to Croydon’s public spaces through a series of newly commissioned billboard artworks.
Sites include; Wandle Park’s community garden and pond; Park Hill Park’s walled garden; and Reeves Corner. The programme of artworks is complimented by a series of other works, including; published texts, walking tours and an audio guide.
The text-based posters aim to discuss and celebrate the importance and potential of Croydon’s public spaces, offering alternative ways to navigate the area; both geographically and temporally. They speak of Croydon’s untold past and its yet to be written future; reasserting the essential role that green spaces play throughout civic life: from articulating our sense of place, to encouraging democratic engagement.
The Reeves Corner structure was designed by George Chinnery. This structure uses visual signifiers from its immediate environment, including the ‘House of Reeves’ furniture shop and the Reeves Corner roundabout’s white picket fence. The structure also references the recent history of the area, commemorating the Reeves’ family furniture shop, part of which was sadly burnt down in Croydon’s 2011 riots.
The Park Hill Park noticeboard was designed and made by artist & woodcarver Esme Toler.
View previous Fungus Press Residencies here and past commissions (pre-residency) here.