During the the COVID-19, Coronavirus Pandemic, and in preparation of our 2021 Program, four artists were invited to respond to Octavia E. Butler's Earthseed Series.
A DIGITAL RESIDENCY
Kaya Joan is a multi-disciplinary Afro Caribbean (Jamaican/ Vincentian)-Indigenous (Kanien’kehá:ka) artist living in T’karonto (Dish with One Spoon treaty territory). Kaya’s work focuses on healing, transcending ancestral knowledge and creating dreamscapes rooted in spiritualism from the lands of their ancestors (Turtle Island and the Caribbean). Afro and Indigenous futurity and pedagogy are also centred in Kaya’s practice-working through buried truths to explore how creation can heal 7 generations into the past and future.
Kaya has been working in community arts for 5 years as a facilitator and artist. Kaya is in the process of completing a BFA through the Indigenous Visual Culture program at OCAD.
Laura Joy Pieters is a performer/actor and visual artist from Whitstable, Kent. Her art practice is concerned with ideas of Afrofuturism and utopia, humankind’s collective relationship with the earth and space, and blurring the lines between science and science fiction.
She holds an MSci in Chemistry from UCL, and was part of the inaugural group of Young Leaders at Science Gallery London where she developed a short film ('Dark Matter') based on her relationship with science. Within the programme she worked on several other creative collaborations including the interactive art piece ‘Common Thread’, designed with Resolve Collective and exhibited during the 'On Edge' season.
Shamica Ruddock is an artist and arts educator working predominantly across text, sound and moving image. With a background in cultural heritage, specifically archive and community engagement, much of this experience has shaped their artistic practice. Shamica is guided by an interest in dynamics of cultural hybridity and new subjectivities, in particular how they operate as modes of production, and can inform and alter methods of enquiry.
Current research topics include black technopoetics, sonic fictions, puppetry and hauntology.
Whitney French is a storyteller and a multi-disciplinary artist. Language is her favourite collaborator. Whitney French is the co-founder of the Black queer feminist press Hush Harbour and is the editor of the award-winning anthology Black Writers Matter. Currently, she lives in Toronto, where she works as an editor, an arts educator and community organizer.
Curated by Guest Curator Yero Timi-Biu and Durham Art Gallery Curator, Jaclyn Quaresma.
Yero is a multi-award winning writer and director for TV and film. Her 2019 BFI-funded short film, Signs premiered at Encounters Film Festival where it won the Youth Jury Award. Yero is developing a satirical drama series, The Institutionwith AbbottVision. The series is based on her time at fashion school, where she is currently being mentored by the company head, Paul Abbott. Yero is also developing a psychological thriller exploring the psyche of Black women and their maternal health. Yero is a participant of BBC Writersroom's development programme, Drama Room in the class of 2020.In 2018, she won the BFI Future Film Festival New Talent award for her ICA London/Channel 4’s Random Acts commissioned short comedy-drama, Beneath the Surface, where she was writer, director, and producer. She was then commissioned again by Channel 4’s Random Acts/Little Dots Studios to write the short film Two Minutes in collaboration with illustrator Adebanji Alade. Both films were broadcast online and on TV. Yero was selected as a participant for Soho Theatre’s yearlong Young Company playwright residency, graduating in 2016.