The Horniman Museum and Gardens opens its doors to a new gallery, The Studio, tomorrow. The first exhibition in the new arts space is The Lore of the Land, a multi-sensory exhibition dedicated to reimagining people’s relationship with the natural world.
The collection is a mixture of original installations by artist Serena Korda, who is part of a Collective of eight artists working with the Horniman, and pieces from the museum itself selected for the messages they carry about people’s spiritual and cultural relationship with plants and water.
The exhibition, which opens at south-east London’s Horniman Musuem in Forest Hill, features a statue of Mami Wata, an African deity accompanied by her divining snake; zoomorphic figures from northern India; a dowsing stick; and an array of pipes, scent and incense holders from across the world.
Also among the highlights is a rare volume of Anna Atkins’ mid-19th-century Photographs of British Algae , the first ever photographically-illustrated book.
The exhibition will also feature Serena’s five large-scale ceramic works entitled ‘Sensitive Chaos’, inspired by botanical shapes and forms. Each ceramic piece incorporates bulbous organic forms and plant matter and is accompanied by an individual scent, inspired by essential oils distilled from plants in the Horniman’s 16-acre Gardens.
Music also features as part of the artist’s multisensory experience, based on recordings of the chemical processes occurring in plants and trees.
Serena Korda said: “Through The Lore of the Land I have been privileged to explore the vast array of objects in the Horniman’s collection that show how different cultures have all come to the same conclusion; plants are powerful.”
The Lore of the Land is on at the Horniman Museum from 20 October 2018 until 28 April 2019
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea