This exhibition marks the launch of an artist’s journal of poems by JC Niala entitled ‘Portal: 1918 Allotment’ which comprises poetic, photographic and narrative documentation of her project recreating a 1918 style allotment in Oxford last year.
The project explores relations between the 1918/1919 (Spanish Flu) and COVID-19 pandemics, World War One, and the role of outdoor space and allotments within them.
In the summer of 2021 Niala developed her plot as a living archive and outdoor writing studio, and hosted visitors there for a series of work-in-progress readings and to literally ‘eat her research’.
The exhibition will present the publication in an exploded form, reproducing poems and imagery large scale, alongside the creation of a more intimate space for visitors to read the publication. The window area of the gallery will also be transformed into a greenhouse for the growing of seedlings, which are available to collect on the last day of the exhibition – just pop in. The exhibition will also give visitors a chance to see the progression of the 1918 Allotment over the course of the growing season last year. The exhibition has been designed in collaboration with Julia Utreras (Common Books) and Sam Skinner (Fig).
An afternoon talk event on the 19th March brings together speakers to discuss broader contexts to the project and a range of related topics, including the history of allotments, gardening in the trenches, and growing practices during the pandemic.
Further details about the project and journal posts relating to it can be found here: https://fig.studio/projects/1918-allotment/
Talk: JC Niala – 1918 Allotment
Saturday 19 March, 2pm – 5pm
Join JC Niala and special guests for an afternoon of talks discussing her project recreating a 1918 allotment in Oxford – exploring relations between the Spanish Flu (1918/19) and COVID-19 pandemics, World War One, and the role of outdoor space and allotments within them. Invited guests will speak to a range of topics, including the history of allotments, gardening in the trenches, and growing practices during the pandemic. Book now.
Book Launch and Exhibition Viewing: JC Niala – Portal: 1918 Allotment
Saturday 19 March, 5pm – 7pm
Following the afternoon of talks there will be a book launch in the gallery with refreshments. Come down and pick up a copy of JC Niala’s new book comprising poems, prose and photography documenting her project, meet the artist and view the exhibition. No need to book, all welcome.
Project supported by TORCH as part of the Humanities Cultural Programme and by Arts Council England.