At Peace II – at Two Queens, Leicester

Image Credit: Nadia Huggins, April 29, 2021 as part of the series The Beginning is the End and the End is the Beginning, 2021. © the artist.

At Peace II
28th May – 9th July 2022
Opening Night: Friday 27th May 6-9pm
Exhibition Open Thursday – Saturday 12-5pm and by appointment
Two Queens
2 Queen Street

Two Queens is proud to announce At Peace II, a group exhibition featuring contributions from Phoebe Collings-James & SERAFINE1369, Jade Foster, Dalaeja Foreman, Ryan Heath, Nadia Huggins, Ada M. Patterson and Thomas Wynne.

How do we respond to ongoing crises as artists, cultural workers, members of a community, and people residing in a place? 

Following the exhibition At Peace in 2021, Part II explores the fictitious collapsing of sections of the art world alongside ecological and cultural landscapes as the contributors know them to be now. An (art)world which is/was rooted in harm, disadvantageous categorisations, and exploitation. During the rebirth of a new art world, new habitats were created, which involved clusters of cultural workers surviving after the collapse. 

Image Credit: Nadia Huggins, April 29, 2021 as part of the series The Beginning is the End and the End is the Beginning,
2021. © the artist.

Situated in the present day and future—the core ethos of the show centres on restorative practice*, community building and world-building. There are installations consisting of painting, photography, sound, video, and sculpture related to essential components for fuelling the body: Air, water, food, shelter (warmth), self-defence, sleep, and equity presented at Two Queens. To address different ways for human and artistic survival, we have combined discourse, archives, and artworks in the gallery and online. Collectively, these contributions explore broader themes of intimacy, transnationalism, land, and place.

Saint Vincent based artist Nadia Huggins will be presenting an ongoing personal archive and photographic series for the first time in the UK titled The Beginning is the End and the End is the Beginning (2021).

This series of works documents the ashfall and catastrophe of the recent volcanic eruption (the largest since 1902) of La Soufrière in Saint Vincent. ​​The volcano erupted during the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2021, devastating infrastructure, the homes, and the lives of those in Saint Vincent and indigenous communities within the Volcano Red Zone areas. 

Ada M. Patterson collaborated with Clementine Edwards, Nicole Jordon, Ark Ramsay and M. Maria Walhout to create a video installation, A Ship of Fools (2020). Music and kangas, a printed cloth popular in East Africa, feature in the film. Patterson started making kanga during Hurricane Dorian, searching for language when emotively exploring the turbulence being faced by the Caribbean. A new exhibition design of the installation will be presented at Two Queens.

Phoebe Collings-James & SERAFINE1369 explore our bodies as a primary technology and source material. The work explores the physical uprooting but continuation of a community gathering and performance practice by restaging elements of past work that were shown in different art spaces. The new installation is a space you can contemplate and reside. It features voice, oil paint, a sound system, performance, and paraphernalia exploring themes of survival, privacy, intimacy, and domestic space.

Looking to a fictional future, Ryan Heath has been commissioned to create new painterly sculptures, which he describes as pieces of heraldic signage made from street detritus. They will be hopeful in message, curtailing the common assumption that post-apocalyptic events are dystopian. Thomas Whynne presents work from I Send Forth, I Promise, an ongoing project that explores the future-fiction of post earth inhabitation.

From their New York home, community organiser and curator, Dalaeja Foreman will deliver a workshop online titled Self and Collective Defence As Liberatory World Infrastructure which is largely inspired by the book The Community of Self by Dr. Na’im Akbar. The workshop explores how art forms based on self-defence can be a praxis for experiencing art through an embodied and anti/de/colonised lens. 

The project’s theoretical start and endpoint take influence from American academic Christina Sharpe’s compelling call to action and conceptualisation of ‘wake work’. In her book, she describes what survives despite such insistent violence and negation towards Black lives. This way of thinking has been adopted by Jade Foster, who has contributed to At Peace II by bringing different practitioners together and curating the exhibition.

*Restorative practice can be used anywhere to prevent conflict, build relationships and repair harm. Restorative practice supports people to recognise that all of their activities affect others and that people are responsible for their choices and actions and can be held accountable for them. It enables people to reflect on how they interact with each other and consider how best to prevent harm and conflict.

©2022 Phoebe Collings-James, SERAFINE1369, Jade Foster, Dalaeja Foreman, Ryan Heath, Nadia Huggins, Ada M. Patterson, Thomas Wynne