Blythe Thea is a London-based creative whose practice encompasses curating, fine art, design, poetry, and research. She holds a BFA in General Fine Arts with minors in Art History, Book Arts, and Curatorial Studies from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), which she received in 2021. She is currently pursuing her MA in Curating Contemporary Art in 2023 from Royal College of Art (RCA). Blythe has exhibited her work and projects as an artist-curator in the USA, UK, Europe, and China, with notable collaborators such as karlssonwilker, Gasworks, and Adobe. She was awarded the Ginsberg Prize for Poetry in 2021 and has produced multiple self-published chapbooks. In 2020, Blythe founded in/corporeal practices, a platform for her ongoing projects.
Blythe Thea Williams
"Together, we shall now form this layer of translucent trust between us. I will talk and you will actively uptake my words. We enter this in-between space together.
My work stretches from the architectural space to visual planes created by the lens [photography and video], design [visual, editorial and exhibition] and people [dance, performance and curation]. My process for creating and curating embraces the hyperpersonal and those sticky moments of the soul. I often find that loving and caring for somebody makes me feel the most within the curatorial, I become a vessel.
I’ve been sharing these moments of contact; moments of touch that create collisions and produce gravitas. This gravitas takes an object from a form to becoming an entity. These moments can simply be words strung together with other words [Silliman, 1987], a painting hitting a wall [O’Neill, 2017], skin against skin, or constellations [Adorno, 1977]. Contact creates webs and webs create networks; I am abandoning my state as an individual. My practice is a toolbox for creating contacts and stretches beyond the knowledges encased in my body."
3 Rituals Bequeathed To Lux Perpetua By Sophie Shiff, Tanvi Sharma, Peter Turnbull
2021, Oslo, Norway
Collaborative Curatorial Project
Produced as part of a collaboration between;
Lux Perpetua (Blythe Thea Williams / Caspar Danuser) / Sophie Shiff / Tanvi Sharma / Peter Turnbull
Lux Perpetua curated a show in collaboration with the project Ritual Bot, by Sophie Shiff, Tanvi Sharma and Peter Turnbull. Ritual Bot makes use of a Raspberry Pi, a thermal printer, some Python code, and Adafruit IO to generate rituals for visitors to take with them. The random nature of the generation can result in rituals that are strange and bizarre, or oddly poetic. Ritual Bot has been on display at the Maryland Insititute College of Art in Baltimore as well as Fuse Factory's annual exhibition and Cultural Arts Center in Columbus, Ohio.
Ritual Bot generated a series of rituals for Lux Perpetua to perform over three days in Oslo, Norway. The interpretation of the rituals was determined by the curators, providing a commentary on the authorship of the curatorial position over an artist or artwork within the curatorial world.
Ritual 1: "Wake up in your sparkly ditch"
Ritual 2: “Unfortunately feed your enemy”
Ritual 3: “Escape to your grave”
Ritual 1: “You are messy again”
Ritual 2: “Disastrously, find your orange self and lubricate from the cat”
Ritual 3: “Bearing love of elevator button on which a memory and a teeth part notoriously”
Ritual 1: “If only you could read hourly, you might perform something for the breakfast”
Ritual 2: “Do you remember the first time you embraced your love"
2023, Staffordshire St, Peckham, London, UK
3d Scanned Digital Photography
Produced as part of a collaboration between;
Tom Lovelace / Lili Murphy-Johnson / Liberty Quinn / Aastha Patel / Adela Campbell / Anietie Ekanem / Ziyun Cheng / Aria Kiani / Yushu Wu / Gabrielle-Aimee Seguin / Youheng Guo / Caroline Perkins / Yiwen Tang / Erin Wang / Edward Wright / Yanzhen Xiao / Blythe Thea Williams / Theo Leonowicz / Hongrui Liu / Rose Henderson / Huashang Wang / Robert Green / Huimin Zhang / Rachel Gordon / Jiawen Zhang / Priysha Rajvanshi / John Dougan / Mingjia Tang / Louise Mok
Blue Space: The Changing Currents of Resilient Waterways
25 – 28 MAY 23
Priysha Rajvanshi & Elise Guillaume
Gasworks Participation Space
Blue Space is a collaboration between the artists Priysha Rajvanshi and Elise Guillaume. The project has been brought together by a team from the RCA’s Curating Contemporary Art programme in partnership with the host venue, Gasworks.
The Global Climate Emergency and other issues we face with nature largely come from our (human) exploitation of it. We often share stories in relation to our experiences with these challenges; our feelings of injustice, the discomfort we experience, our fears, and even at times, our tales of displacement. Yet, despite our fraught relationship with our living environment in which we co-exist – we persist.
In the Blue Space, each artist responds to our evolving relationship with nature through the creation of a provisional shelter that gives voice to the environment. Large cyanotype sheets made in the River Thames by Rajvanshi have been adapted to form the tent’s canopy with a related projection across the interior walls. While, an original soundscape produced by Guillaume incorporates the vibration-based audio of natural elements with spoken word, to allow for a speculative conversation between humans and our surroundings to occur. Through this, the artists invite visitors to slow down and listen to the earth, as to hear its perspective as we look to adapt to our changing world.
This project was formed from recognising the stresses that our friction with the environment are inducing. As a proposed place of solace for local people, it aims to offer a soothing and open-minded plateau. Here, through interacting with the artistic practices brought forward, we introduce a moment of calm confrontation and learning by hearing. Through this, we look to present an opportunity to begin the process of healing a fractured but essential relationship with the place we live. Crucially, to consider the Blue Space in a gallery in London, this also connects us with the other people we share our earth with, whose struggles like the environment are not always acknowledged.
Through entering the space, audiences are invited to not only take from nature, as is too often the scenario, but by listening to it; acknowledge it as a collaborator, a living entity, to recognise its stresses and its sorrow, its moments of courage and its ailing contentment. In embracing this meeting of perspectives, one can slow down, be immersed in the comfort of the shelter, and take advantage of the moment of reflection, familiar recognition, and re-connection being offered as we look to adapt to our changing world.
Priysha Rajvanshi is an Indian artist based in London whose work is predominantly focused on using photographic techniques to explore the overlapping relationship between bodies and the environment, in the context of healing. Recently, her practice has begun to handle ideas relating to enchantment and mobilising the photograph as a mode to reflect.
Elise Guillaume is a Belgian artist and filmmaker whose work explores our complex relationship with nature. Interested in the connections within our (eco)systems, she uses audio-visual mediums to create contrasting narratives to question what it means to be human in a time of crisis and extinction.
Artists Featured: Elise Guillaume, Priysha Rajvanshi
Consultation and Technical Support: Julia Frendo & The Technicians Collective
Curatorial Team: Aleda Wood Roberts, Blythe Thea Williams, Genevieve Fisher, John Dougan Nealon, Kangin Park, Nathalia Oliveira, Wanlan Chen, Zihan Wen
Acknowledgements: Laura Valles Vilches, Sabel Gavaldon, Gasworks Team
Exhibition Photography and Video by Gregor Petrikovic