April 7, 2022
The Nine Elms community came together on Friday 25 March to decide which art projects, submitted by over 20 local artists and collectives, should be funded to take place in Nine Elms and Battersea this year.
The evening event, at the ROSE Community Clubroom, SW8, was attended by over 40 residents, local artists and people who work in Nine Elms and Battersea.
The first event of its kind in the area, the evening began with food from Hadas Hagos of Waste Not Want Not Battersea, followed by presentations from each artist explaining their project, based on the theme ‘movement + metamorphosis’.
A total of seven artists’ work were chosen for the Nine Elms spring arts programme through votes based on criteria including: artistic merit; value for money; and if the project reflected and will reach local people.
Projects selected were from a mix of artforms, showcasing the diversity of talent in the area including painting, dance, sculpture, poetry, moving image and sound.
Let’s meet the artists and their projects coming to Nine Elms in 2022:
ATERRE Studio create biophilic installations and sculpture to help communicate about planet-conscious design and its importance.
The studio will create a living furniture sculpture, an organically shaped bench within a sculpture made of boiled and green willow interwoven with planting, which will allow the sculpture to metamorphosize from a bare structure into a lush oasis dependent on the season.
This will create a space of peace and contemplation and connection to nature for the local community, which is so important in our urban centres.
ATERRE Studio said: “We are delighted to be able to bring our living furniture sculptures to Nine Elms. We designed these sculptures to create a connection to nature through organic structures and materials, to create an oasis in highly urbanised cities.
“Nine Elms is the perfect location for our work, an area of amazing regeneration and transformation, creating a new vibrant community for locals and visitors alike. As locals ourselves we are thrilled to play a small part in this transformation and to be given the opportunity to connect and contribute to our own community.”
E33 is a Battersea-based professional community dance company. Their vision is to offer a free event for audience members of all ages, introducing their latest choreography Used to Be… by up-and-coming choreographer Rick Fernandes, as well as interactive arts and mindfulness workshops by local Nine Elms artist Daria Hass. The six performances will seamlessly flow into Daria’s workshops, using the symbolism of butterfly metamorphosis to gently encourage the audience to consider how change can be challenging, but also life-giving and renewing.
Rachel of E33, said: “It was the nicest funding experience we have ever had! After 10 years of being a local Dance Company and continually applying for funding, it is often a very soulless experience! We were impressed with the Make Art in Nine Elms event. It was human, full of passionate and inspiring people. Finally, a ‘human’ funding experience!
“We are so excited to have our work commissioned so that we can perform outside and give back to the community where we live, work and rehearse.”
Ethical fashion artist Fée Uhssi’s proposal in collaboration with Giada Nazari, Italian Battersea-based dancer, roller-skater, martial and stunt performing artist, focuses on Fée Uhssi’s Art of Fashion Wrapping or the Art of using and wearing a wrap in many different ways in an innovative multi-artform video celebrating movement and metamorphosis. The project will incorporate fashion, styling, and makeup art, with dance, roller-skating, physical expression, and music, presented in a video format that will be filmed in Battersea and Nine Elms at different locations.
Fée said: “I am delighted and excited to have been selected and commissioned to create our multi-artform project, the concepts of movement and metamorphosis have always been at the heart of my creative process so to have the opportunity to express my vision on these concepts is a real honour.
“I want to say thank you to Wandsworth Council for facilitating this amazing project and giving artists from all artistic backgrounds the opportunity to express their creativity and vision.”
This visual art proposal will create a conception of the planets and the night sky, as if the skyline has no boundaries. Beyond the towering rooftops the constellations above us ignite the heart of Nine Elms bringing worlds together.
Prazak will be inviting the local community and visitors to take part in the creative process to create a rendition of the galaxy. Thus, the ‘Ninth Planet – Nine Elms’ is created to give the effect of the night sky with shooting stars, nebulas and cosmic explosions giving movement and change bursting around us.
Felicity said: “For me, working with people from the local community instils a great pride into their work and they take ownership of it. Allowing others to see the diversity, talent and creativity that we all can embrace.”
Battersea poet Hilaire plans to create a word portrait of Nine Elms, titled ‘found ~ flow ~ flux’, using ‘found text’ from the local area to compose three collaborative poems that capture Nine Elms during this period of change.
The project will include workshops with the community, starting with a walk around part of the Nine Elms area, to record text from signs, posters, graffiti and so on. Participants will then write a poem responding to the changes in Nine Elms.
Hilaire will weave together the found texts to create three poems, one for each walk. These will be published in a free booklet along with poems by workshop participants.
Hilaire said: “I wasn’t sure what to expect from the selection event at the ROSE Community Clubroom and was quite nervous. But it turned out to be a really supportive and positive experience and highlighted how much amazing creative talent there is in the local area. I’m honoured to be one of the first community commissioned artists.”
Ian Wornast is a visual artist who has lived in the Nine Elms area for most of his life. Ian’s bold, intricate, and highly patterned drawings are an expression of his love for his neighbourhood and a personal reflection on the changing landscape during this period of growth and renewal. Ian will be creating new artworks to be reproduced as large-scale banners and displayed in the public spaces around Nine Elms.
Ian said: “I am very excited about this commission, and I can’t wait to start working on it. I hope people will enjoy my work and it will make them look more closely at the buildings, gardens and other places around Nine Elms and realise how lucky they are to live in such an exciting area.”
WHABBstudio is a creative duo working collectively to explore our changing world. They live on a boat on Nine Elms Pier and are part of the long-standing boating community.
Their digital installation, Ebb & Flow, will depict a projected animation of the live tide level, accompanied by submerged sounds of the river. The aim of the piece is to further connect the river with local neighbourhoods, communities and people of the area.
WHABBstudio want to highlight this special one-of-a-kind community, it’s heritage and the future of Nine Elms.
WHABBstudio said: “After collaborating with the local community on artworks in the past few years, it’s an honour to have been voted for by everyone to share our personal experiences of living in Nine Elms – thank you! Since much of our work has been predominantly online/hybrid for the past two years, we are also so excited to create a piece of work that will be exhibited in a physical space in Nine Elms.
“We also want to say thank you to the organisers of the Nine Elms Arts community commissioning event, it was so much fun meeting the local artists in the community and to hear everyone’s ideas – what a creative area we live in!”
Each work selected will be funded by Wandsworth Council with the aim to deliver projects in Nine Elms and Battersea over the spring and summer months.
Watch this space for more updates on the chosen artworks to see how you can get involved and where you can view the projects.
The movement + metamorphosis event was run by Wandsworth Council and food provided by Waste Not Want Not Battersea.