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Oriel Davies Gallery, Wales
15 September - 7 November 2018

Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury
1 May - 8 June 2019

Bonington Gallery, Nottingham
September - October 2019

20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe
18 January - 18 April 2020

Waking the Witch

Old Ways - New Rites

Exhibition launches at Oriel Davies Gallery, 15th September - November 7th 2018; then tours to Sidney Cooper Gallery, Bonington Gallery & 20-21 Visual Arts Centre.

The British Isles have a particularly strong relationship to magic and the occult, with the chants of witchcraft echoing throughout their history. Legion Projects is delighted to announce Waking the Witch, a touring group exhibition which will look to the importance of craft, ritual and land on the practice of the ever shifting figure of the witch.   

Traditional witchcraft has a strong connection to the earth, with an intimate knowledge of herbs, plants and the elements - as well as the human body. As gatekeepers to altered consciousness and as communicators with non-human beings, witches have been both feared and sought out for their dealings with the unknown. Historically persecuted as an outsider, the witch has been taken on by artists as a challenging force to prevailing norms and as a symbol of dissidence.

Offering interpretations of both contemporary and historical witchcraft, the exhibition aims to reclaim the multifarious voices the witch has been given over the course of history, facilitating a speculative search for lost knowledge. Looking to symbols, tools and the coven as a space for focusing collective intent, the artists in this exhibition explore the path of the witch as one that inspires a deep communion with our natural surroundings, a connection to our intuitive powers and as a force for harnessing collective energy.

The tour features new artist commissions which will develop as the project evolves and grows, including this online map, an artwork by Ben Jeans Houghton. Embedded with symbols and charts, the map will act as a continually updated resource throughout the tour. Available through this online portal is also a new commission by Blue Firth, which will take the form of a series of podcasts that respond to the landscapes and histories of each touring venues location and Magic Kills Industry, a film work by Georgia Horgan.

Contemporary artworks in the exhibition will be contextualised through archival material and periodicals, as well as loaned artefacts from Museum of Witchcraft, Feminist Archive South at University of Bristol Library Special Collections, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Rupert White/artcornwall.org, the Doreen Valiente Foundation and other private lenders.

Waking the Witch is a Touring Exhibition curated by Legion Projects and supported by Arts Council England

For more information about the exhibition and the accompanying events programme see https://legionprojects.com


Supported by Arts Council England
Legion
Sidney Cooper Gallery
Bonington Gallery
20-21 Visual Arts Centre
Oriel Davies Gallery