“Art Social stems from the belief that the power of community will be the driving force for true social change and the more reasons we have to bring people together with a shared vision and a shared mission the more chance we have to succeed.”
Nadra Shah,  Director of Culture & Festival Director

PUBLIC ART PROGRAMME

This years festival was curated around Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs; artists were asked to respond to an element of the pyramid, collaborating to create a vibrant, diverse and participatory week of creativity.

Access to festival installations at the House (usually closed to the public) was free, with limited spaces available for special evening screenings and Q&A’s with the artists.

PUBLIC ART PROGRAMME

  • THE LIFE VOYAGERS TEA SERVICE 
  • NEEDS MUST
  • WHAT ONE CAN BE
  • PYRAMID

Exploring themes of language and social belonging, the artist Hester Reeve created a site-specific installation featuring a large-scale tea-set, devised especially for Art Social ’15. The main installation was situated in Soho Square – festival-goers were invited to move from here into the House, where teacups were displayed throughout, emblazoned with words gathered by the artist during her exploration of Maslow’s pyramid. Issues of belonging exemplified by the British ritual of tea drinking interacted with a more eccentric and quirky examination of the opportunities and limitations of language. Through this commission Reeve took a playful look at this most homely of symbols, the teapot, and how we all take refuge in rituals, words and language.

Keef Winter‘s piece was a large geometric sculpture housed on the roof within the beautiful courtyard garden of The House of St Barnabas. Winter attached LED strip lighting to the structure to radiate in the colours of Maslow’s  Pyramid of Needs, from the yellow lower tier at the bottom representing physiological needs, through the red, green and purple of safety, intimacy and esteem needs to the highest blue tier of self-actualisation.  As the sun began to go down the structure glowed with the colours of Maslow’s Pyramid.

“What one can be, one must be” is a quote from Maslow, where he states that every person is capable and has the desire to move forward.  This was a programme of video and performances by contemporary artists, curated by Paula Lopez Zambrano, which featured in the chapel and other areas of the House throughout the festival. This programme reflected upon different hierarchies emanating from socio-political structures or from our daily lives and the films, performances and workshops all explored the fragility of the human condition. Video artists included Jeremy Deller, Hito Steyerl amongst others, with workshops and performances from Merike Estna; ‘Eat My Painting Please’ and ‘JacketsPaintings / PaintingsJackets’, Marlene Haring; ‘Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine’, Jennifer Reid; ‘Broadside Ballads’ and Rafal Zajko; ‘Wandering Monuments’.

‘Moving Images, Shifting Needs’ was a video programme in three parts that explored the intersection of aesthetics, art and video, exposing fluctuation in the order of hierarchies in human needs and in art.

Margaret Salmon’s 2014 film ‘Pyramid’, a work on Abraham Maslow’s theory on the pyramid of needs, formed the basis of this programme of artists’ film and video, curated by Matt Carter in association with LUX. Filmed through the rhythms and choreography of middle class South England the stages of Maslow’s pyramid provide an organisational framework for Salmon’s abstract documentary. These stages also act as springboards for considering the other works in the programme and how they relate to the different stages of need, or the growth towards self-actualisation.  Featured artists included Luke Fowler, Margaret Salmon and William Raban.

Weekend Festival at "The House of Curiosity"

A special festival weekend programme to heighten the senses; a cacophony of sights and sounds, of colours and conversations, an oasis of creativity in London’s Soho. Those who entered into the magical world of The House of St Barnabas had the opportunity to make something, uncover secret delights, discover a new way of thinking, and dance under the stars.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FESTIVAL

Pyramid Playlist Experience - The Alternative Silent Party



A highlight of Art Social '15, DJ Tony Nwachukwu created a unique crowd-sourced 'Pyramid Playlist Experience' that mixed songs submitted by the public and those contributed by known artists with recorded personal stories that responded to Maslow's pyramid, including those of participants and graduates of The House of St Barnabas' Employment Academy.

A truly spine tingling experience, enjoyed by the festival crowd who donned headphones and immersed themselves in the world of Tony's playlist whilst enjoying the hidden courtyard garden and private members club bar.

“WHAT MAKES THE HOUSE OF ST BARNABAS SUCH A GREAT VENUE IS THE SCALE OF CURATORIAL AMBITION; YOU GET UP CLOSE TO SOME QUALITY CULTURE” LE COOL



SUPPORTER

PARTNERS

If your company or organisation wishes to support the work of The House of St Barnabas please contact Jo Wedderspoon joanne@hosb.org.uk