InTRANSIT 2016 is now over but we are still enjoying its outcomes, like Nicola Sersale’s short videos which are being released over the coming weeks. Here is the first one which looks at the architectural pavilion at the heart of the festival. The video captures only a small fraction of the activities that took place in Powis Square this year which attracted around 1500 people taking part in everything from drama workshops to discussions over dinner.
The 2016 Portobello Pavilion was designed by conflict artist Arabella Dorman and drew inspiration from the ingenuity of displaced people in self organising and building communal buildings very much like this one.
Arabella wrote of The Arc:
|“In conjunction with UK Refugee Week, and as a continuation of Flight (St James’s Piccadilly, December 2015) my work is a response to the current humanitarian crisis of forced displacement across the world. By twinning buildings, objects and activities, I wish to bring a crisis of unfathomable size and complexity down to a human scale and highlight the courage, enterprise and creativity that can be found in the darkest corners of existence.
As a war artist, my abiding interest lies in the human face of war and the consequences of conflict. Since 2006, I have worked with forces in Southern Iraq and Afghanistan, and more recently in Lesbos, Turkey, Calais and Dunkirk seeking to document the thousands of Afghans, Syrians and Iraqis arriving on the shores of Europe.”
Inside the Pavilion, arts based practical activities were led by various artists and partners around the themes of shelter, social architecture, community organisation and the UK Refugee Week theme of “different pasts, shared futures”. In the evening, the art table became a communal dining table with “breaking bread” discussion sessions hosted by local figures, artists and writers who shared stories and experiences along the same theme.
InTRANSIT Festival and the Portobello Pavilion team are thankful to Arts Council England who’s grant made this possible. We would also like to thank the Westway Trust who helped fund the fee to access workshops, and ColArt who provided our art materials free of charge.
As last year, we are grateful to local residents and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council departments who have supported the project in a variety of ways. In particular we would like to thank the inspiring residents of Powis Square, who’s community and history began the Portobello Pavilion project, which follows on from the Art|House last year.
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