Cultural Olympiad coming to pop-up venues in Lewisham

Zoe Hamilton-Peters and Carlos Quiñones’ art installation

The Cultural Olympiad will be coming to Lewisham in April in the shape of five podiums set up in different locations across the borough by local artists backed by local arts organisations. The Podia Project  will be launched on April 12th at a secret venue to be announced nearer the time.

The temporary art pieces and installations are inspired by the Olympic Games all with the theme: Everyone’s A Winner”. Local Organizations and Artists who are taking part in the project include:

● A.P.T. (Redstarts Project) with Cash Aspeek and Chris Marshall

● Beep Studio with Ingrid Hu and Peter Ayres

● Deptford Project with Bound for Glory

● Deptford X with Deb Astell and Trevor Horsewood

● Goldsmiths, University of London with Hannah Catherine Jones

Organiser, Brigid Howarth, who is collaborating with the London Arts Council and Lewisham’s art service, says the podia project aims to “deliver exciting temporary public art in the borough”, and display the “creative industry strengths of Lewisham”.

She explains: “Most of the podia are interactive- from a new ‘viewing station’ in the borough (all the locations are top secret at the moment!) to a larger than life game of consequences that people can stand on and change the combinations of athletes’ outfits”.

Hannah Catherine Jones, an MA student studying Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, is one of the five talented artists chosen to participate in the project. Her podium piece will be created in the form of a stage, which will be open to members of the public to use as a podium and speak their mind, share their opinions or express themselves in any other means they choose.

Jones, a performance artist, says, “Live art is the most immediate thing you can do, and it’s really personal to me”. She explains that she wants her art to function, not solely as a piece of art, but also as a means of uniting the local community and engaging people to converse and interact: “The most important thing about this for me is that it’s a platform, for Goldsmiths, but also for the South-East London area”.

Her project will be called ‘Relay’, representing the switching of performers on the stage with the exchange of Olympic athletes’ batons; an opportunity for the community to interact.

The Goldsmiths student says her project is all about breaking down the boundaries between performer and spectator, “Bringing people together in specific moments in time, to share an experience. Its important for people to gather, to be united in watching something”.

Whilst still at the planning stage, an architect and production company are helping the artist construct a stage of her own design and she is recruiting members of the public for a 12 hour launch event in April. After this, Jones’ stage will remain in use until the end of the Olympics in August as will all the temporary public art pieces

Research by Ismini Aliverti

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