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Gardez L’Eau by Enam Gbewonyo
2022-06-17 10:00 to 2022-08-14 16:00
17th June 2022
We’re delighted to be welcoming a unique new artwork by acclaimed British-Ghanaian textile and performance artist, Enam Gbewonyo, exploring the history of God’s House Tower, one of Southampton’s most important monuments.
Gardez L’Eau draws on themes of trade, travel, colonialism and piracy; and uses materials from God’s House Tower’s past to create a sculpture that runs through the entirety of the building.
The knitted artwork, which begins on the roof of God’s House Tower, is made from three different materials; each one significant to the building’s history. The first section of the sculpture is made from knitted steel wire shaped into chain link and will act as a reimagined time-ball, originally used by Mariners to tell the time. The steel wire represents the metal once used in God’s House Tower for prisoner’s chains, and the chains of ships’ anchors, which would be moored near the building. The second part of the sculpture incorporates knitted wool and rope in reference to the materials pillaged from King Edward III by French invaders, and the oakum that prisoners used to pick from ropes.
The exhibition is accompanied by a soundscape produced by Spanish sound artist Anihma.
Gardez L’Eau is presented as part of Meeting Point, a national programme led by contemporary arts agency Arts&Heritage (www.artsandheritage.org.uk) that partners leading UK and international artists with museums and heritage sites to produce new artworks inspired by the museums and their collections.
Gardez L’Eau will be on display at God’s House Tower, Southampton, from Friday 17 June until Sunday 14 August. The exhibition is free to visit.
Download the exhibition guide here
Download the large print exhibition guide here
In addition to the sculpture, Enam has also developed an accompanying performance that will take place on Saturday 16 July. An ode to the people of Southampton, it will reference traditional Morris dance, Aurresku – a traditional Basque dance – and the Masquerade dance of St. Kitts in honour of each country’s connection to Southampton and God’s House Tower. A film of the performance will be also added to the exhibition.
You can find out more about Enam and explore her work by visiting www.enamgdesigns.com