House of Covvens - South East London

A two-week exhibition and event series running from the new moon to the full moon, with Covven discussions, moon sound performances, and foraging walks.

at hART's Lane Studios

An exhibition and event series questioning the meaning of engagement with politics through the imaginative possibilities of an alternative system based on empathy, cooperation and community.

From the new to the full moon, ‘House of Covvens—South East London’ will create a space for local people to come together, reflect, tell stories and share ideas against the backdrop of the current social climate. It will be centred around a series of ten group discussions called ‘Covvens’, which, through their structure aim to create a non-hierarchical, communal exploration of ideas and social issues using both conversation and creativity. These are inspired in particular by Wiccan ideas and practices which are centred around personal and collective power and aim to provide an empathetic approach to social critique.

Sound, food, drink and the spatial environment are integral to creating a comfortable atmosphere for discussion. As part of this event these elements will connect with the local and wider environment through a series of foraging walks and sound performances on the new, quarter and full moon. The foraging walks will explore the local ecosystem, led by medical herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmed, sharing seasonal plant medicine knowledge and collecting plant material for tea to drink during the Covvens. In the evenings of the new, quarter and full moon there will be improvised sound performances by musicians Chloe Owen, Casi Wyn and Miedo Total in response to the astrological happenings of the time. These will be played throughout the week to provide an atmosphere for the discussions to take place.

The design of these gatherings comes from a project by artist Jodie Chinn which looked at how integrating currently undervalued forms of knowledge and communication, often seen as ‘feminine’, into the UK’s parliamentary system, could break down hierarchies, creating a more equal and effective society. The result of this was ‘House of Covvens’, an imagined political system based on empathy, inspired by ideas and practices found in Wicca, shamanism and the Riot Grrrl Movement. A system which sees politics as ‘societal healing’ and politicians as ‘vessels of the public’: where creativity and community are essential to politics, aiming to empower an individual’s voice beyond ‘the vote’. The Covven is how people would gather together to discuss issues and support one another in this imagined society.

Event programme:

Foraging Walk: Tuesday 15th May, 11-2pm

New Moon sound performance with Chloe Owen: Tuesday 15th May, 6-9pm

Covven with Jodie Chinn: Wednesday 16th May, 7pm

Covven with Jodie Chinn: Thursday 17th May, 7pm

Covven with Verity Birt: Friday 18th May, 7pm

Covven with Jodie Chinn: Saturday 19th May, 4pm

Covven with Jodie Chinn: Sunday 20th May, 7pm

Foraging Walk: Tuesday 22nd May, 11-2pm

First Quarter Moon sound performance with Casi Wyn and Miedo Total: Tuesday 22nd May, 6-9pm

Covven with Jodie Chinn: Wednesday 23rd May, 7pm

Covven with Jodie Chinn: Thursday 24th May, 7pm

Covven with Jodie Chinn: Friday 25th May, 7pm

Covven with Jodie Chinn: Saturday 26th May, 4pm

Covven with Jodie Chinn: Sunday 27th May, 7pm

Foraging Walk with Rasheeqa Ahmad: Tuesday 29th May, 10-1pm

Final Closing Event and Full Moon sound performance with Chloe, Casi and Miedo Total: Tuesday 29th May, 6-9pm

House of Covvens—South East London

Opening Times
Preview: Tuesday 15 May, 6-9pm
15 - 29 May 2018
Wednesday to Sunday, 2-6pm
Saturday, 11am-3pm

hART's Lane Studios
17 Harts Lane
SE14 5UP