Enam Gbewonyo’s “Under the Skin of a Guild: Wake of Lost Souls”

Categories


Project Info


Artists

  • Enam Gbewonyo
  • Liz Gre
  • Freddie Leyden

Art Forms

  • Performance Art
  • Film
  • Composition

Partners

  • Arts&Heritage
  • Guidhall Art Gallery, London

Under the Skin of the Guild: Wake of Lost Souls, 2022 is a new work  by artist Enam Gbewonyo made with director Freddie Leydon with an original score composed by Liz Gre who also appears in the film and sound design from MRWIZE.

Arts&Heritage is delighted to share the next film available to view in our online Screening Room Channel. Under the Skin of a Guild: Wake of Lost Souls, 2023 is a new work  by artist Enam Gbewonyo (@enamgd) made with director Freddie Leyden with an original score composed by Liz Gre, who also appears in the film, and sound design from MRWIZE.

Under the Skin of a Guild: Wake of Lost Souls emerged from a closed live performance which A&H commissioned in April 2022 as part of our 10th anniversary programme. The subsequent film based on the performance is jointly commissioned by A&H and Guildhall Art Gallery, London.

The Guildhall building is the setting for a film which moves between the upper level where the Art Gallery is located to the lower levels of the building and the Great Hall, the original site of the Zong trial in March 1783. The Zong massacre was a mass killing of more than 130 enslaved African people by the crew of a British slave ship called ‘Zong’ on 29th November 1781 and the days following. Slave owners attempted to claim insurance for their “loss of cargo” having thrown these slaves overboard during the Middle Passage. This highly charged site was selected by the artist and the film invokes the ancestral spirits of the deceased slaves and channels the emotions tied to their murders, embedded as they are within the histories of Guildhall.

The artist proposes that by having two Black descendants of these victims, Gbewonyo and Gre, inhabiting a space so tied to the foundations of colonialism, Empire, patriarchy, and violence, a dialogue is created between the atrocities of the past and their imprints on the present. An atmosphere of fear, grief and defiance is poignantly illustrated as both artists move through the space level by level, moving as if through time as well as space.

The film is now available to view on our Screening Channel now.

The Artist

Enam Gbewonyo

Enam Gbewonyo is a British Ghanaian textile and performance artist whose practice investigates identity, womanhood, and humanity while advocating the healing benefits of craft. She uses performance as a vessel, creating live spaces of healing that deliver the collective consciousness to a positive place of awareness.

 

Gbewonyo is represented by TAFETA gallery in London and her work has been exhibited at Gagosian (London), Mostyn Gallery (Wales), the Women’s Art Collection (Cambridge University), FRAC MECA Aquitaine (France) and Fondazione Imago Mundi’s, Galerie delle Prigone (Italy) to name a few. Her works are also part of several private collections. She is the 2022 winner of the Dentons Art Prize and New Art Exchange’s Future Exhibition Fund respectively, a recipient of the Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award 2022 and was shortlisted for the 2021 Janome Fine Art Prize. She is also a Black Rock Senegal, Artist in Residence Fellow.

Among others, Gbewonyo has performed at the 58th Venice Biennale opening week, as part of the 1:54 African Art Fair Marrakech 2020 public programme for Black Shade Projects, at Henry Moore Institute – an activation of Senga Nengudi’s Sandmining artwork presented in collaboration with the International Curators Forum and a livestream performance for Tate Britain responding to Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s exhibition, Fly In League With The Night. The performance was in collaboration with vocalist and sound artist Liz Gre.

Liz Gre

Liz Gre is a sound artist-researcher, composer, performance and multi-modal installation artist whose works explore the opacity of human experience through collaboration. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at City, University of London and a Senior Teaching Fellow of Composition and Creative Technology at the University of Southampton.

Gre has exhibited at Lisson Gallery (London, UK), The Union for Contemporary Art (Omaha, USA) and Queens Museum (New York, USA) to name a few and her performances include; North Star: Conversations on Boundlessness Symposium, Lincoln Center (New York, USA),  Under the Skin of a Guild: Wake of Lost Souls a collaborative performance and film with artist Enam Gbewonyo co-commissioned by Arts&Heritage and Guildhall Art Gallery, London Guildhall (London, UK), We Invoke the Black. To Rest a collaborative performance with artist Enam Gbewonyo activating Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s exhibition Fly in League with the Night, Tate Britain (London, UK).

Freddie Leyden

Originally from the west of Ireland, Freddie has spent the last 10 years honing his craft in London. His unique and exciting style of filmmaking is steeped in artistic and historical visual references. His films, which both reference art and are artworks in themselves, have made him internationally sought after. He has made films for the biggest brand names in the art world and beyond. His groundbreaking new short film FARMERS!? was shot in Ireland in 2023 and is currently in post production.

Recent accolades include; Vimeo Staff Pick, 
BEST OF THE YEAR, Kinsale Sharks 2023 
GOLD, BEST DIRECTION, Cannes Lions 2023 
FILM CRAFT, DIRECTION, Telly Awards 2023
 GOLD, BEST DIRECTION, Young Arrows 2023 
FINALIST, BEST NEW DIRECTOR and Shiny Awards 2022,
 BEST EMERGING DIRECTOR