An exhibition at Kensal Green Cemetery Dissenter's Chapel and Gallery: May 15th to September 1st 2017
London W10 4SR http://www.kensalgreen.co.uk/documents/KG_gallery.html
Featuring new works of video, text art and installation, the exhibition will feature an event programme, including guided walks and workshops, exploring disappearing west London
Worm Wood is an ambitious collaboration with the artist Tereza Stehliova about West London, from Wormwood Scrubs to Kensal Green Cemetery, from Harrow Road to the Grand Union Canal, and that which there is disappearing, hidden, hiding or lost.
Began in 2015, the primary outcome of the project is a film which fuses the industrial and reclusive landscapes of these areas of London with poetry and text, as well as live events, installations embedded in the environment, an exhibition of these works and a publication forthcoming.
Worm Wood crosses artforms, is fundamentally collaborative across concept, text and image, and aims to be as nebulous and striking as the landscape it celebrates.
"We should see if we can get permission to use that shed on stilts as an installation. If not, locate something hidden in the spiderweb of the stations grounds, or a part not used often, or something small, unreachable through the fence on the long walk to Harrow Road.
Pulling a handful of hair. Uprooting a small tree.
This place is not obsessed with itself. I think there’s a difference in that, one we’ve both noticed. There is one stop here, located momentarily. A fusion that spills out in eight directions, spiders legs. Our favourite is the snipers alley off the Harrow Road entrance, where we will enter."
PLACE OF DEFIANCE
For the past weeks, I have been exploring the Kensal Green Cemetery again, capturing little moments in time on my camera.
What I feel most strongly here is the presence of all the absent people. People are everywhere, yet nobody is here. Instead, there are traces: signs, pictures, names, toys…
I am struck by the abundant use of plastic to replace the natural world. It’s like a defiance against the perishability of organic life. Yet plastic seems strangely inappropriate for this place of decomposition.
The cemetery is a place where even the tiniest movement takes on a much greater significance. I am struck by how much movement there is: of trees and leaves, blades of grass, rainbow pinwheels, all animated by the wind. Other things propelled by tiny engines: artificial butterflies, cherubs nodding their heads. All this animation in defiance of stillness.
In contrast the stone statues are frozen in their eternal poses. For this particular defiance, they too are punished by time: Most are missing hands, arms, feet, even heads. There is something rather poignant about this image of an angel without hands or lips: her agency has been taken away, just like of those that lie buried here.
Working with the poet Steven Fowler on capturing the strange and disappearing no man’s land around Willesden junction…These are selected images from the latest recce…recording locations where nature meets artifice, where plastic and vegetation talk to each other, imitate each other, where synthetic colours are splashed in abundance across the subdued industrial landscape.
“Let’s listen tonight to Willesden junction together”, said John Berger in his letter to me, few months after I moved here. I keep these words close to me at all times, especially in the mornings as I walk from Harrow road along the railway line to catch the tube, to the sound of a screeching trains, desolate landscape all around me…feeling strangely content and free.