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Waking the Witch: Old Ways, New Rites

Launching our 2019/20 season, we’re delighted to present Waking the Witch: Old Ways, New Rites – an exhibition looking at the importance of craft, ritual and land to the practice of the ever-shifting figure of the witch.

The British Isles have a particularly strong relationship to magic and the occult, with the chants of witchcraft echoing throughout their history. Traditional witchcraft has a strong connection to the earth, and an intimate knowledge of herbs, plants and the elements, as well as the human body. As gatekeepers to altered consciousness, witches have been both feared and sought out for their dealings with the unknown. Historically persecuted as an outsider, the witch has been taken on by artists as a challenging force to prevailing norms, and as a symbol of dissidence.

Looking to symbols, tools and the coven as a space for focusing collective intent, the artists in this exhibition explore the path of the witch as a way for us to connect with the earth and each other.

Ben Jeans Houghton will open the exhibition with an improvised performance, expressing aspects of his own magical practice through a harmonic voice and the spoken word, using repurposed effects pedals, loopers, ritual tools, and costume.

Waking the Witch: Old Ways, New Rites is a UK touring exhibition curated by Legion Projects and supported by Arts Council England.

Exhibition Opening with Ben Jeans Houghton
Featured Artists

Verity Birt, Anna Bunting-Branch, Nadine Byrne, Mary Beth Edelson, Fiona Finnegan, Blue Firth, Fourthland, Georgia Horgan, Ben Jeans Houghton, Serena Korda, Candice Lin, Katarzyna Majak, Monica Sjöö, Lucy Stein, Ayesha Tan Jones, Cathy Ward