POP Festival – Bold North Kensington artists give voice to healing and inspiration

Westway Arts is launching the PORTOBELLO OPEN PROCESS (POP!) Festival, a month-long series of people-powered arts happenings in and across the North Kensington area.New work by nine ‘home-grown’ artists, working across a range of artforms, explores Grenfell stories, high-rise communities, gender and power, carnival culture and more. Through visual installations, street pop-art, high-octane dance, emotive documentary photography, music-theatre and flashmob performances, POP! tackles the key issues of our time.

Diane Morgan, Head of Arts and Culture at Westway Trust says: “We have commissioned artists committed to channelling the creative spirit, resilience and social activism that North Kensington is famous for. 

“This is a diverse, dynamic community and the work is created through engagement and participation with local people.

“The artists, who are emerging to mid-career, have been supported to explore their creative curiosity, demystify taboos and challenge perceptions in a variety of inside, outside and unique spaces.”

The commissions support artist development over an eight-month period as part of Westway’s Artist Commissions programme.  POP! Festival is an opportunity to see new work and work-in progress by artist’s who bring to life the issues and stories of the area through ambitious creative ideas.

Programme

(Entry is FREE to all events)

February 27, 7-8pm: XXIV by Corrie King, at Yaa Centre
Choreographer Corrie King has created a provocative new work exploring high rise council estates and the culture they create. It honours the voices of Grenfell Tower and includes a Q and A.

March 2-27: My Yard by Tim Head, along Thorpe Close and on the corner of Acklam Road and Portobello Road
Abstract pop-art street murals and messages, by graphic designer, artist and creator Tim Head, bringing positivity and pride to urban spaces.

March 4-8, 12-6pm: Re-Seen & Unseen, by Aleksandra Zareba Zeltsch & Brian Okello, at The Muse Gallery
A joint exhibition by two independent artists; Aleksandra Zareba Zeltsch examines her emotional rediscovery of Ladbroke Grove through digital paintings in Re-Seen ;  Unseen by Brian Okello (AKA Bambookidd) uses illustration, graphic art  to place local characters into provocative social scenarios.

March 7, 3-9pm: Gold & Ashes: Our Stories by Feruza Abraha-Afewerki, at Bay 20 Community Centre
Combining a story-telling and photography, Feruza Abraha-Afewerki empowers the   Grenfell community, sharing how hopelessness gave way to courage.

March 12-14, 12-6pm: A Love Letter by Marie Klimis, in a cosy caravan in Thorpe Close
Real love after 50 is discovered in a vintage caravan with cups of tea, miniature dioramas and atmospheric sound installations.

March 20, 6.30-8pm: MANIFEST by Produced Moon, meeting point at 1 Thorpe Close
Produced Moon and young women from the LGTBQI+ community use drag king personas in this flashmob performance exploring identity and public space.

March 21, 3-4.30pm: Masqueraded Memoirs by Tolu and Ade Coker, at Bay 20 Community Centre
Family, politics and community intertwine in this documentary film about community and carnival culture in the estates of North Kensington, explored through the life of the artists’ late father, himself a community member, activist and photographer. Includes a talk by celebrated young fashion designer, Tolu Coker.

March 26, 7.30-8.30pm: Songs That Nobody Taught Me by Nick Field, at Westbank Gallery
Writer, performer and musician Nick Field muses on how music brings communities together in this theatrical piece, with help from local community choirs and inspired by the legendary Portobello Road.

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