Culture Online


The Stories of Trellis

Six Co-Creators Share their Message of their Artwork

Each of the powerful works in Trellis tells a story, giving voice to the issues that matter most to east London’s communities. For those who aren’t able to visit the exhibition in person, some of the show’s co-creators reveal the questions they’d like their projects to raise, the stories behind their works, and the messages they’d like to share.

Marysa Dowling – Artist, Patterns of Connection

I want this work to get people to think about the importance of non-verbal communication, how much we all need touch and connection in our lives. How important it is to work with people outside our own discipline, to look to others expertise, skills and understanding of the world. To  share ideas and practice across disciplines brings a completely fresh perspective on how ideas can develop. Letting new ideas surface through collaboration and exchange is exciting, stimulating and equally challenging.
It is also vital to take ideas and research out into the real world, working directly with communities to continue explorations and learn from each other’s views, experience and responses.

Catherine Perrodin – Researcher, Patterns of Connection

I fully agree with Marysa’s words above: there is much for scientists to be gained from listening to non-experts, such as by interacting with the wider public, or giving patients and communities a voice in the science that involves and/or will ultimately affect them. These external perspectives help you pinpoint the essence of your scientific work and impact, that can get lost in the many professional and/or academic constraints. Working with people from different backgrounds and with different perspectives also highlights your own patterns of dealing with opportunities and challenges, with the potential to teach you new ways of approaching them. The essence of human connection is universal.

Kassandra Lauren Gordon – Artist, Tailor-Made

I want jewellery to be seen as public art. The story this work is telling is to help the participants to have more of a creative expression to show their relationship with cancer. Supporting participants to design fine jewellery pieces  is one way to reclaim their narratives their relationship to cancer creatively responding to Ayse’s research and their own  personal experiences.

Hanna Baumann, researcher and Johann Arens, artist – Another Provision

In East London, one in four adults and one in three children lives in food poverty. Those in temporary accommodation or without recourse to public funds are especially affected. The compounded effects of austerity, Covid-19 and lockdown, as well as the currently looming cost of living crisis mean that the numbers of those facing difficulty in obtaining sufficient and nutritious food have steadily risen often the past decade and will most likely only increase.
But food justice is about more than merely securing sufficient calories - it’s about culture, heritage, community, and belonging. It relates to health and wellbeing, to urban sustainability, land justice and workers’ rights. We loved working with the London branch of the national food service because their vision and activities seek to address all of these aspects of food justice, in addition to providing nutritious, healthy meals to those who need them.

Ella Bulley – Artist, Material Design Meets AI

The message of this work is that art communities need to collaborate with other industries, there is more we can provide than just aesthetics. Also, the industry is not very accessible to Black, Asian and ethnic minorities, by engaging with these communities and making opportunities accessible to them, we could make the sector more diverse and richer in its output of art, design and creative ideas.
I want to create a dialogue about how materials are perceived and used as more than a decorative but can be utilised in innovative ways.
I hope this project will lead to more tech companies being open to working with artist and material designers, and opening up commissioned opportunities.

Caroline Wright – Artist, Material Conversations

I hope that the dialogue that this project has engendered has brought new perspectives for the researchers by looking through a creative lens. That said, there were areas where our thinking was in alignment, confirming the direction in which the project was travelling. Whilst creative work can become an alternative language to communicate an idea, I also hope that it has prompted ways of thinking for the researchers in their own work.
I hope that the public experience sound and touch in a way that prompts them to think about the multiple senses we use as we encounter the things around us. I also hope there will be some curiosity into the different sonic qualities of our world, sparked by the exhibition pieces and by the exhibition workshop.”

Dr. Ayse U. Akarca – Researcher, Tailor-Made

As a research scientist, I have been involved in studies investigating molecules that have diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potentials. Till to date, I only studied the cells under the microscope without being aware of individuals’ unique life changing stories as well as intangible impact on them. Being part in this project has affected not only my point of view, it also affected my motivation. I believe such projects between research communities, public and artists can build a bridge that humanised the research.
I can see that cancer has still considered a taboo today, therefore there is a need for society to feel open-minded from this societal issues. This project is a clear reflection how art served as a bridge to overcome the social taboo of cancer. It empowered participants narratives, while it increased their motivation and awaken their creativity.”

The powerful Trellis exhibition takes place 29 April – 8 May at The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park. It’s free to visit and everyone is welcome. Find out more and plan your visit on the Trellis website.

From communal meals and audio walks, to interactive photography, art workshops and more, discover Trellis’ fascinating free events and activities programme. Find out more and book your place.

Follow the Trellis journey on social media with the hashtag #UCLTrellis and at @UCLEastEngage on Twitter and Instagram