Image credit: Olga Koreleva

On June 30th, I facilitated ‘In Circles, Around Tables’, an event at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens, London. The event took the form of a series of three fishbowl conversations. The format was used as a way of gathering bodies together in space, exploring how we may meet, use and occupy space, and the role that the voice has in all of this.

The event provided an opportunity to continue developing research and to gather material for future work.

Below is an edited version of the introduction read to attendees of the event. It outlines the research I have been drawing together to contextualise the event, as well as other works that are currently in progress. It also goes some way to outline my approach to the Artist Working Group.


Thank you for participating in ‘In Circles, Around Tables’. This is the first/second/third of a series of fishbowl conversations I am facilitating today, as part of ‘Dissections’ a festival curated by UAL in collaboration with the RA, forming part of the Mayfair Art Weekend.

This is both a participatory live event, and it is being recorded using audio and video. I often work in this way, staging a situation in a public space that has elements of unscripted or improvised outcomes, and this material informs further works.

For this event, my aim is to keep an authenticity to what is said, and to avoid manipulation of any kind. I am interested in the fragile and unexpected nature of speech and of being in a group, in space, and this is why I think it’s important to capture it.

This is an experiment in conducting research and generating perspectives beyond my own on a number of questions that have been occupying my thoughts and artwork recently.

I see this as a meeting of sorts. We are a group coming together in a space. I wanted to bring bodies together into a space to see how knowledge manifests, how our voices and the way we share space, can be explored and improvised with.

I have invited along a number of people. I saw a connection between the topics we will discuss and the situation in which I met them, their field of work or interest. However I don’t see them as an authority over these ideas (and hope they don’t mind me saying this) but rather, they may bring a particular stance, like you all will, depending on your experiences. I want to give space for embodied and felt knowledge, and see this as adding to, rather than deviating from the conversation.



When I first started thinking about starting the AWG, I secretly hoped that the locations in which we met would have an impact, such that the meetings become just as much about ‘how do we use this space?’ and ‘how do we use space?’ – as much as the act of sharing food, and practices.

On the train home from Whitstable, I proposed that from the next meeting onwards, we could have just one person present something at each meeting and the time in which this happens is demarcated. So the eating of food and sharing of work is not necessarily happening simultaneously.  I also said something along the lines of ‘I’m interested in how the location in which we meet, may affect what we bring and visa versa.’ And there was a brief discussion around the fact that meeting in an outdoor space would have some impact – much of which was actually undeterminable.

This more defined structure seemed to bring a sense of relief between the group, or so I perceived. That there could be a compartmentalisation of activities within our meetings. Somehow our ability to socialise as a group, and the fact that we also connect as artists, creates an interesting boundary to navigate. And the differentiation between what is social, and what is more focused; where we give attention to one another and our practices in a deliberate way, is a distinction we would try making.