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London artist joins local people to create Horniman’s first Studio Programme

  • Serena Korda, Artist Serena Korda,  Chris Egon Searle
    Artist Serena Korda,  Chris Egon Searle

London-based artist Serena Korda will work alongside local people to co-create the Horniman Museum and Gardens’ launch show for its new Studio.

Serena Korda will work as part of the Collective – a collaborative group including 10 members involved in artistic and creative community support programmes across south London – to create the inaugural programme for The Studio, due to open in summer 2018.

The Collective members are:

  • Anna-Maria Amato – an artist and curator of the SHARP Gallery in Brixton, which exhibits work by emerging artists, many of whom are mental health service users        
  • Joe Francis – a songwriter from a musical background, whose involvement with patients at St Christopher's Hospice has revitalised his interest in all kinds of arts, especially pottery
  • Judith Fernandes – a service user of Three Cs, which supports people with learning disabilities and/or mental health challenges, who also volunteers with the Horniman and Three Cs’ allotment
  • Julia Austin – an active member of organisations campaigning for and working with disabled people, and a member of the Horniman's Access Advisory Group for a number of years
  • Lu Firth – a community worker with a particular interest in textiles, who runs arts and heritage projects with diverse audiences
  • Michael Cox – a keen photographer who regularly attends workshops at the Horniman as part of the Community Connections group for older people
  • Nicolas Gonzalez – a musician and music group facilitator in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre at Blackfriars Settlement, who also volunteers with creative arts charity Heart N Soul
  • Nigel Looker – a lifelong Forest Hill resident, who is a peer support volunteer with MIND and attends the Community Connections Group at the Horniman
  • Philip Baird – an artist, musician and mental health service user, who is an Arts Ambassador for both Arts Network, a mental health arts organisation based in Lewisham, and the Dragon Café
  • Victor Rios– an actor, filmmaker and director, and a member of the Paper Project, a group of young migrant and refugee artists who create innovative, cross-arts performances           
  • Serena Korda
  • and members of the Horniman team.

The Collective is part of the Horniman’s innovative project to open up the creation and curation of art exhibitions and events to a creative network of artists, scientists, visitors and community partners. The project is based in The Studio, a new, co-curated, contemporary arts space at the heart of the Horniman, responding to its anthropology collection.

Tim Corum, Director Curatorial and Public Engagement, says:

We are very excited to be working with Serena and our community partners in this ground-breaking programme. The Studio is more than a gallery space – it is also an exciting project to put community groups and artists at the centre of our exhibitions planning and public programming. Much of Serena’s work has involved community participation in curating spaces and performances, and we look forward to seeing what she and the Collective will create, inspired by our collections.

Serena Korda creates large-scale ensemble performances looking at aspects of communion and tradition, and audiences are often encouraged to participate in her process, creating collective experiences.

Serena Korda says:

It is a great honour to have been selected for The Studio programme at the Horniman Museum and Gardens. This is a truly unique and groundbreaking project with collaboration at its core, and I am excited to become part of the Collective to produce new work and curate a public programme for the coming year.

As a sculptor, I am fascinated by the animism of objects; their potential to soak up history, exude memory and fulfil a function places them at the centre of our lives. The Horniman’s incredible anthropological collection offers a glimpse into the lives of people from many different cultures and religions over hundreds of years, creating a vibrant starting point from which to make and be inspired.

The development of The Studio and the wider anthropology redisplay project has £3.3m funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Horniman is raising an additional £1.3m through grant-making bodies and public donations, to complete the project.

To support the project text ‘HORN17 £5’ to 70070 to donate £5, give online at horniman.ac.uk/worldgallery or donate £1 via the contactless reader at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.