Fungus Press Residency: ‘Its Only Bondage was the Circling Sky’, Turf

Chris Alton, B Atherton, Skye Baker, Sophie Blagden, Alice Cretney, Holly Graham, Rosie Mills Eckmire, Jhinuk Sarkar
August 4, 2019
 to September 1, 2019

Free & open to all

At Sites Around Croydon; Turf Projects (Keeley Rd CR0 1TF), Wandle Park, Reeves Corner, Park Hill Park

Unbounded freedom ruled the wandering scene
Nor fence of ownership crept in between
To hide the prospect of the following eye
Its only bondage was the circling sky

Excerpt from The Mores, by John Clare, composed c.1821

This exhibition takes its title from John Clare’s The Mores, in which the English ‘nature poet’ laments the enclosure of the commons. Between 1809 and 1820, acts of enclosure granted local landowners permission to fence the fields, heaths and woods, excluding the people who had worked and played in them. Whilst farming became more profitable, those who depended on the commons for their survival were deprived of their livelihood. The places in which the people held their ceremonies and celebrated the passing of the seasons were fenced off. The community, like the land, was parcelled up, rationalised, atomised (1). Some believe it was the enclosure of the commons that drove Clare mad; the loss of almost all he knew and loved must have been a contributing factor.

Almost 200 years later, Its Only Bondage was the Circling Sky reflects similar concerns to those of Clare, or concerns that have their roots in the enclosure of the commons; freedom of movement across national borders, co-existence with other species in the age of the anthropocene and climate change, the act of archiving, the privatisation of public spaces, the essential role that green spaces play throughout civic life, and the effects of gentrification – particularly on marginalised people.All of the exhibiting artists are Turf Projects staff members. Turf Projects is an artist-run contemporary art space in Croydon, South London. The space encompasses exhibitions, public realm commissions, studios, artist development sessions, and workshops for adults, teenagers, and children.

(1) ‘John Clare, the poet of the environmental crisis – 200 years ago’, George Monbiot, The Guardian, 2012

 

// LIST OF WORKS

Wandle Park (North):
Rosie Mills Eckmire, citymapping, Text on tracing paper and photograph, 2019
Jhinuk Sarkar, No Road Here, Blue-backed poster, 2019
Alice Cretney, fleefromfrostsorfmorfeelf, Blue-backed poster, 2019
Wandle Park (South):
Sophie Blagden, The Bottle Trap, Blue-backed posters, 2019
Alice Cretney, earthworms on asphalt, Blue-backed poster, 2019

Park Hill Park:
Holly Graham, Framed Wide By Our Surroundings, Blue-backed posters, 2019
Reeves Corner:
Chris Alton, Seasonal Movement (Regular), Blue-backed poster, 2019
Chris Alton, Its Only Bondage Was The Circling Sky, Digital print on paper, 2019
Skye Baker, Brown Paper Croydon, Photograph
B Atherton, ING, Digital print on paper, 2019

 

// 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.

Nothing yet! But check below for related events and writing.
This Fungus Press series was created by us, the Turf team! Find out more about us at the Artists page.

Related Turf artists: