Priysha Rajvanshi is an Indian artist based in London whose work is predominantly focused on mobilising the photograph as a mode to reflect. Her practice embodies the spirit of a wanderer, unearthing hidden marvels that reside within the ordinary fabric of life. As a story collector, she delves into the unifying aspects of environments and bodies, weaving together a narrative that advocates for healing.
At the beginning of last summer, I started playing a game
along the shore of the river Thames,
sending out signals and seeing how the river responds.
Through the rise and fall of the tide,
I recorded a building relationship,
as shuls as it were.
Following the rhythm of the river, its flow, as my own,
made way for possibilities that I had not known.
It’s a story told by the river,
a calling to recognize the flow of its body through our body,
for the water remembers
and you can never get lost if you follow the river.
Installation, experiential documentation – Sound Artist- Laura Selby
Installation shot from the 2030 Exhibit, with Bethany Sewell
About the animation
The bog is an anaerobic environment and so it preserves what it contains, acting as a living archive of the river. I made a series of chromatography prints from this part of the shore, in which the organic matter makes up for the different colours, rings and patterns indicating its contents and health. The animation is a compilation of these micro-organic stories, where it stands as a massive being looking back at you from the depths of the river, made up of all the life that inhabits it. It is a safe space for you to acknowledge it and maybe even untangle your own connection to it.
Animation details of a chromatograph
Through entering the ‘Blue Space’, audiences were invited to not only take from nature, as is too often the scenario, but listen 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.
'The shore' was adapted as a multi-sensory shelter for ‘Blue Space’, along with a soundscape produced by Elise Guillaume as a part of the MA Curating Contemporary Art Programme Graduate Projects 2023, Royal College of Arts in partnership with Gasworks.
Curatorial Team: Aleda Wood Roberts, Blythe Thea Williams, Genevieve Fisher, John Dougan Nealon, Kangin Park, Nathalia Oliveira, Wanlan Chen, Zihan Wen
Consultation and Technical Support: Julia Frendo & The Technicians Collective
Exhibition Photography and Video by Gregor Petrikovic
A story for you
And just like that, came along a man
With bread in his hands,
'I’ll tell you the story of these birds' he said.
Angela, Pebble and Nelson (the stepfather)
‘6 months ago, in the harsh months of winter, maybe it was two seals that got in during the high tide, and got hold of them. They were a big family you see, it was a sad sad incident. Only Angela the mother, and poor baby, pebble were left, all alone and scared. That’s when nelson got here you see. He wasn’t this big then, he was small and weak. He entered their life as Angela’s partner and pebble’s stepfather. It was Angela’s love that made him strong and big in no time. They are very resilient creatures with such a fascinating history and story. You don’t find it in books you know, just fascinating. They are very strong. I don’t let them touch me though, you know. I don’t like to get so close. Occasional feeding is fine though. They love bread, its probably not good for them. Oh, how they would love nuts and corn. I didn’t name them either, you must think, that is so weird. But it humanises them. Its nice. Look out for them when you’re here next, will ya?’
Sound Performance at Iklectik by Laura Selby
Medium:Cyanotypes, Chromatography, Video, Sound, Multi-sensory Installation
This project tells the story of today, which is also tied to yesterday,
to lay the groundwork for the coming of days.
Stories that make us who we are today.
Stories that heal, Infecting and infusing our very spirits.
When stuck in dark waters,
stories are the ones that whisper.
They are the song of our lives.
He sang the most beautiful tune through his harp and his heart,
moving worlds both above and beyond.
Have you paid attention to your song?
Have you sung it to the tree on your side of town?
What of the river? She can carry it on,
and if the nymphs take a liking to it,
they can even grant you a wish.
Your song will help you move, both understanding and expressing you.
But remember not to get stuck in the past,
for that’s how Orpheus lost.
Also listen to other songs,
that have been making their way about,
of your friends and your dogs,
of birds and worms,
of all critters around.
For the most beautiful symphony comes together in a chorus,
Telling stories is how we remember stories.
Passing through you, both the story and you transform.
This is an invitation for you to sing your song.
Grateful to Aastha, Akriti, Ashwini, Bhaskar, Emma, Kavya, Lotte, Max, Riddhi, Soumya and Yohaan for sharing with me their song.