Conway Actants

 Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London

    13 November 2015  –  26 March 2016

This was a two-year artists’ residency, where Deborah Gardner and Jane Millar collaborated to produce and curate a site-responsive exhibition; engaging directly with the space, activities, and archives at Conway Hall (British Ethical Society), for the first time in its history. Gardner’s and Millar’s painting, Sculpture, painting, assemblages, and installations made interventions within and without the building alongside collaborative photographic works.
Gardner’s work, such as Library Hive, referenced both the bee hive co-worker culture on the roof of the building and the collective agency within. The work Marsden Rock Communities inserted in shelves within the Conway library explored the micro and macro worlds of a massive landmark Marsden Rock and how this may relate to the micro/macro assemblages of the book and the library. These operated alongside Millar’s images in the library.  A collaborative large light box work titled Inside Out with  Jane Millar was suspended outside the balcony of the Conway library and explored an inversion of interior and exterior space, exposing a point of viewing the square outside at dusk from the darkened interior.  The project, accessible to the visiting public for four months, engaged the thousands of visitors to Conway Hall in ideas around space, propagation, radicalism, and the institution. The Club Critical Theory group presented a free event Space and Propagation to discuss ideas raised in the residency and education workshops, artists’ talks, and tours of the building increased awareness of the project. Conway Hall published the catalogue Conway Actants, with images and texts by the artists and those involved closely in the project.