The Roberts Institute of Art Live Art Commissions Featuring Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom, Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome, Harriet Middleton Baker, Lloyd Corporation, SERAFINE1369 and Sriwhana Spong. - FAD Magazine

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The Roberts Institute of Art Live Art Commissions Featuring Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom, Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome, Harriet Middleton Baker, Lloyd Corporation, SERAFINE1369 and Sriwhana Spong.

In April 2020 as the pandemic took hold, the Roberts Institute of Art (RIA) responded by creating a commissioning and development programme with 6 artists whose practices include live work. These commissions will now culminate in an evening showcase of brand new performances by Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom, Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome, Harriet Middleton Baker, Lloyd Corporation, SERAFINE1369 and Sriwhana Spong on Thursday 16th December, 6pm– late, at Studio Spaces in Wapping, East London. The commissioned artists will present work that incorporates wideranging influences, from street theatre to tarot reading, orchestral music, dance, shadow puppetry and political debate.
Tickets, are free book them HERE

Sriwhana Spong, Tasseography of a Rat’s Nest(extended), 2018. Courtesy the artist, Michael Lett and Pump House Gallery. Photo: Damian Griffiths

David Roberts, co-founder, the Roberts Institute of Art, said,

‘When the pandemic began I felt strongly that the private and commercial sector must act to maintain a commitment to artists. This is something I stand by and which RIA will remain committed to as we continue to commission and programme new work in London and across the United Kingdom. I am delighted that we have been able to support these artists to create these bold new pieces and that they have had the space and the time to shape them during such a difficult and testing period.’


The details of the commissioned performance works are as follows:

Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom Before: Compliment is a sound–based performance that challenges the idea that live performance involves seeing the performer’s body. Appau Jnr Boayke-Yiadom has invited a string trio to play an
improvised musical arrangement. The musicians respond to the movement of the audience as they enter the room, creating a heightened relationship between spectators and performers.

Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome Through dance and sound, Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome conjures a collaborative space where audiences are invited to engage with ceramic figures in practices of reading and divination. The ceramic figures are influenced by the trump cards of the tarot deck and have been made in collaboration with artist Nissa Nishikawa. The work has a new sound score composed by Heloise Tunstall-Behrens.

Harriet Middleton-Baker‘s work looks at the dynamics of leadership and control that are played out in performative displays of global power. In The Conference, the artist brings together four performers acting as delegates at an annual summit. A keynote speaker reads an opening address, while the delegates perform a tango — a dance
concerned with leadership, surrender, emotion and connection.


Lloyd Corporation‘s New Normal asks to what extent genuine political dialogue is possible in our current times. Influenced by Augusto Boal’s Invisible Theatre, in which distinctions between actors and audience are blurred, the performance involves the duo staging situations that generate dialogue. The work explores the rise in polarized public
debate around the politics and ethics of social interaction and communication. New Normal references traditional spaces like Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and online social media, where clashing ideologies, ethical conflicts, (dis)information and conspiracies are scrutinised and contested.

SERAFINE1369 (unarticulated architectures of) ambivalent longing is a solo dance performance with an original sound score by the artist’s frequent collaborator Josh Anio Grigg.

Sriwhana Spong The Poem is a Temple re-enacts and vocalises sections from the twelfth-century Javanese poem the Bhom?ntaka. This epic mythological tale is described by its unknown author as a ca??i — a temple which is built with language. Working in close collaboration with the Javanese dhalang (puppeteer) and throat singer, Ki Sujarwo
Joko Prehatin, Sriwhana Spong performs fragments from the epic, exploring the shifting boundaries of bodies and spaces and how we can understand the Bhom?ntaka as a temple of language.

Roberts Institute of Art Presents: Live Art Commissions Featuring Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom, Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome, Harriet Middleton Baker, Lloyd Corporation, SERAFINE1369 and Sriwhana Spong Thur 16th DEC 6pm–late Studio Spaces in Wapping, East London Unit 2, 110 Pennington Street, London E1W 2BB BOOK HERE

The Live Art Commissions were initiated as a response to the pandemic. As performance relies on social engagement and people coming together, RIA prioritised support for artists working in this field at a time when so many other projects, fees and residencies had been cancelled or postponed. The six invited artists taking part in the programme include those RIA have worked with before alongside artists who may be in particular need of opportunity and visibility. The artists and RIA have since spent 18 months working closely together, developing the performances in response to the changing context of the pandemic and showing them safely.

For more than 10 years, RIA has championed performance across its many forms, a focus of which has been the exhilarating one-night showcases presented as the Evening of Performances, involving some 120 artists and collaborators and several thousand audience members. Now, moving forwards, as this programme comes to its
natural end, RIA is moving into a new phase of performance programming, exploring how best to present performance and engage audiences across the UK and to support artists in the current climate. Alongside the Live Art Commission programme, a new online programme will be launched as a celebration of performances that have been curated, commissioned and programmed to date by RIA. Recall: Evening of Performances (2008–2019) is a year-long programme of spoken, written and visual contributions from some of the artists who participated in the twelve editions of the annual Evening of Performances. Florence Peake, Grace Schwindt and Mark Wallinger, among others, highlight the evenings’ extraordinary legacies for the field of performance and sees the artists join RIA to explore how live work will evolve. These digital content drops will take the form of podcasts, interviews and more.



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