Posted on October 10th 2019
Utopia - Students Add to Audio-Visual Installation at Vauxhall Gallery
A group of 11 students from Years 9 and 10 took a trip to Beaconsfield Gallery, an artist-run gallery in Vauxhall, to learn about immersive art.
They worked with Dubmorphology, an experimental audio-visual collective, to create work which will be added to the Spirit_off: Dreaming Utopia installation, which is currently on display at the gallery.
In preparation for the trip, students explored ideas about Utopia and Afrofuturism and prepared some stunning spoken word pieces and a variety of images. You can read the spoken word pieces and see the images below.
Students were wowed by Dubmorphology’s interactive installation and loved the fact they could manipulate the moving images on show.
Students recorded some of their spoken word pieces and Trevor, from Dubmorphology, showed the students how to manipulate their recording using computer software. The girls audio records and visual work will be incorporated into the Spirit_Off exhibition.
Spirit_Off is at the Becaonsfield Gallery, 22 Newport Street, Vauxhall, London SE11 6AY, until 3 November 2019 (Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 5pm).
What our students said…
“Today, I have learnt about utopia and Afrofuturism. I loved how everyone has had a chance to express their opinions about utopia and what it means to them. There was also a cat that I really wanted to take home but Ms Morris wouldn’t let me.” Victoria
“Today we saw how Dubmorphology used the Ealing Comedy film Passport to Pimlico to create an immersive and interactive piece of art. The film was shown in the gallery’s arch way and was shown over many screens and it was accompanied by an eerie soundscape – it was very atmospheric.” Ahlia
“I really enjoyed the arch room. The projected screens filled the room and created a beautiful yet haunting atmosphere that left my mouth running with praise and asking to capture the moment over and over again.” Megan
“Today, I learnt that Afrofuturism is not only for Africa. Afrofuturism is for everyone as we are cosmic children.” Michelle
“I really enjoyed my experience because I had my own understanding of utopia and Afrofuturism so it was really interesting to see the different views for the other people in our group. I really loved experimenting with the keyboard in the arch room because it controlled the art work on display.” Mayson
“I found manufacturing a background theme to our poetry fascinating. The arch exhibition was very interesting. The workshop has inspired me to create my own visual art masterpieces.” Ava
“I learned how to layer my spoken word recording over a self-produced beat. I was easier than I thought. I had fun doing it.” Maliyah
“Utopia is unachievable. It plays on an idea of perfection which is subjective. For this reason, a general ’utopia’ will be dystopic for some. At the workshop I heard some of the written work from my peers and concluded that utopia cannot be material.” Kandi
“I have learnt how to make spoken word more engaging with the use of sound and images. Merging spoken word with visual and sounds makes it an art form.” Nuha
“The workshop has inspired me to combine poetry and visual arts. I am planning on creating a montage of images from the areas of London that has a lot of skyscrapers and overlay the images to a track of my spoken word creating one memory in a memory bank.” Amina
“We went to ‘the Arch’ which was a place where Passport to Pimlico was projected on to a screen. Whilst the visuals of the films played, you could hear someone speaking about utopia. It was very exciting.’ Christine
Before the trip, students explored ideas about Utopia and Afrofuturism and prepared some stunning spoken word pieces and images.
Exhausted. Hungry. In pain. I trekked through the intimidating jungle, lost in thought, when something caught my eye. Its enticing aura beckoned me, curiosity consumed me. I reached my hand out and picked it up.
An amethyst crystal sat in my hand, beaming at me. My eyes entranced my feet dragged across the jungle. My feet halted. I came to a stop and my eyes broke out of their trance to see a huge gate stood before me. The amethyst flew out of my hand and landed onto a gate, radiating a lilac glow. Cautiously , I stepped into the gate. I gawked in awe at the marvellous and futuristic city, which was buzzing with life. Tall elaborate skyscrapers hovered over the area, like guards of their city. The purple tinted glass structures glistened as the sun smiled with joy.
Near the town centre was teeming with life; I was passed by people with rich and glowing melanin which was covered in jewel embezzled clothes to represent their culture. The market had many stools, illuminated by the same stone which was in my hand, to keep the food that was being sold fresh.
The town square was absolutely breathtaking. A gemstone monument stood tall and proud in the centre, surrounded by crystal clear pond. A powerful aura radiated off of the statue and spread into the world before it. The guards in front of it stood still and silent. Decorated in an ornate violet armour, they carefully observed the harmonious chatter and laughter on the streets.
This is where I belong. This is my utopia.
By Kandia S
I rest my head and every night
A million scenes flash before my eyes
I don’t know where they come from
But they ignite a passion in me
One that is incomparable
Cannot be described or labeled
I see visions of heaven
Projections of a future
I see a dream that never ends
There is forever in my mind
A forever that will be mine
On the brink of what's new
Happiness becomes true
Where we reside beyond all we’ve ever known
Finally reaping the good we have sewn
Our ancestors have blessed us
With a land so lustrous
Dive deep and reach out
Give your soul what it has been for so long without
I fall back into a world unlike no other
The deep blue velvet of the earth
Provides you energy for rebirth
Prisons of my mind
Abhorrence from those outside
Will never Separate me from a world of perfection
I must forever reach beyond this reality
For ambition beyond degree
I will no longer live for who you long for me to be
My black pearl will shine for infinity
The perfect imagined world.
To me perfection is the crisp smell of rain in the morning.
It’s the pink tinged swirls of cotton slithering across the heavens.
Warm rays caressing soft skin.
Quiet melodies ringing at dusk.
Tear stained cheeks being wiped by a soothing hand.
Then enveloping sensation of an embrace from a loved one.
To them utopia is the startling brilliance of steel structures.
The blinding reflection of dawn on the glass hundreds of metres in the air.
The intricacies of metal and the artificial orange hue of street lamps.
But their utopia is my dystopia.
Where they see marvels of engineering,
I see ersatz mountains and hills.
Where their eyes perceive the amelioration of cities.
I see giant lumbering scaffoldings of tin and steel.
The whole concept of Utopia is trapped in a never ending cycle. The ultimate paradoxical truth.
The line between Dystopia and Utopia is a fine one.
My Utopia is their dystopia.
and their utopia is my dystopia
and my dystopia is their utopia.
and my utopia is their dystopia.
This is just utopia
One night I dreamt a dream not like many others
However, it only resonated in a huge pile of love and empathy
I vaguely remember the clear sky
With its subtle winds of July
I remember how perfect everything was
How safe and calm my mind found itself
But then it hit me
It was just a Utopia
One night I dreamt a dream not like many others
Where I could smell the sweet subtle scent of blossoms
Where everything was decided by a unanimous vote
Where everyone lived in equality and peace
I love being there, I loved everything about it for
It was just a utopia
One night I dreamt a dream not like many others
I could see a world that resembled heaven
A world that could only cause me depression
For a place this perfect could never truly be real
For a place like this was only a perfect illusion
It was just a UTOPIA
What has happened to this lost day?
The broken past,
Their forgotten identity.
But take heart, there is little hope!
Close your eyes and see your home.
The untold tale of their roots,
The roots that grew abundantly.
Created a tree bearing fruit of creativity.
Close your eyes and see your home,
Their future exploding with colour,
The people smiling and experimenting,
Creating and producing.
Imagine a possible future,
Find their broken past, forgotten identity
From black culture,
Create and celebrate the history of these people
And keep and live in this world in your hearts.
By Ava, 10D
UTOPIA. Idealistic future, in which, exists only perfection. This term derives from Thomas More, when, in 1516, he was inspired by the Greek word; ou-tops, which means, `no place. ` To me, Utopia is somewhere that fairness is the main priority.
AFROFUTURISM. Exploration of black culture through futuristic science-fiction
My ideal homeland would be somewhere fairness is a constant and never-ending.
MUSIQUE CONCRETE. Music created through a mixture of recorded sounds
SUN RA. American musician and poet, well known for his experimental music
She gently brushes a platinum coil from her forehead, adjusting it, so that it may cascade with the others; an unapologetically picturesque bouquet of silver and bronze spirals shone in the brazen sunlight, and bounced on her godly head, as the caressing wind tugged at the curves of the landscape, enriched with golden tigers and steel trees- manufactured exclusively, with solely, the best technological advancements. With eccentric power, she strode through a spherical room, illuminated with the violent blue hue of its endoskeleton, made up of electrical veins and ardent programming. Elegantly, she descended onto her majestic throne, composed of electricised diamonds and glorious heirlooms. This was her kingdom. Her utopia.