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Emii Alrai : Future Collect Commission 2 The Hepworth Wakefield

Study Day Contained terrain : Conversations about collecting natural histories Emii Alrai

16 May 2022

Future Collect Study Day

  • Venue

    Stuart Hall Library

  • Venue

    Stuart Hall Library, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU

  • Date

    Monday 16 May 2022

  • Time

    10:30 – 16:00

  • Capacity

    Limited capacity due to nature of event: 15 people

  • Access information

    This event will have BSL interpretation.

    Accessible toilet: There is an accessible toilet on first floor of the building which can be reached using the accessible lift near the entrance. Another accessible toilet is located on ground floor of the adjacent building.

    Guide and assistance dogs: Assistance dogs are welcome in the building.

    Additional access provisions can be arranged on request.

  • Artists

    Emii Alrai

    Amber Li

    Rohini Okon Malik

For the first study day in the second year our of Future Collect programme, we will gather at Stuart Hall Library to focus on questions about natural history and what happens when natural artefacts are placed in collections. What kind of narratives emerge when we collect nature and what histories are lost in this process? How does this link to the histories written into natural landscapes and their geographies?

Drawing from Emii Alrai’s interest and work with natural and cultural heritage, particularly throughout the making of her Future Collect commission ‘A Core of Scar’, we will dive into what it means to work with nature, decolonise natural collections, and the tension between decay and conservation in this work.  

Join us for a day of thinking together, where we will hear from and work with Emii as well as her collaborators and other practitioners, artists, and researchers engaging with similar questions in their work.  

These study days are envisaged as moments to come together and think through ideas collectively through gathering, reading, conversation and workshops.  

iniva will provide lunch and refreshments throughout the day. 

How to apply

This event is open and free to the public, however, due to the library’s low capacity and the nature of the day being research and conversation led, we want to ensure that those who attend would find this beneficial to their thinking, research, and creative practice.  

Our definition of creative work here is intentionally broad: this event is open to everyone who is thinking creatively about these themes, those who work within the arts sector and also outside of it!  No portfolio or previous professional work is required to attend, just a keen interest in the themes being explored.  

If you are interested in taking part please submit a short expression of interest by 29 April 2022,  briefly telling us (in 300 words or less):  

  • What interests you about this study day? 
  • How does it relate to what you’re feeling/ thinking about and exploring creatively?  

Please send your response through the form here: https://forms.office.com/r/vUZCNPigpz 

We’ll get back to everyone by the first week of May to confirm capacity for the event.  

If you have any questions please email Anahi@iniva.org  

Access Arrangements

We have a budget available to make this event as accessible as possible – this can include BSL interpretation, transcription services, and funds to cover childcare or care costs. If you require any of these please make a note of this in the form above. This will in no way affect how we choose participants.

We will be releasing excerpts of the conversations as well as resources and a written reflection of the day after the event, this will be made publicly accessible for all those who could not attend.

Artist biography  

Emii Alrai (b.1993, Blackpool) is an artist based in Leeds. Her practice is informed by inherited nostalgia, geographical identity, and post-colonial museum practices of collecting and displaying objects. Focusing on ancient mythologies from the Middle East alongside personal oral histories of Iraq, she weaves together narratives by forging artefacts and visualising residues of cultural collision. Alrai creates monumentally-scaled installations which play on museological displays and dioramas. She draws attention to the clash between the polished aesthetics of imperial museums and the states of ruin which befall archaeological artefacts and their landscapes of excavation. Alrai’s art often contains elements which appear broken or unfinished. In this, they point towards moments of rupture and of diasporic separation from homeland. Their incompleteness asks the viewer to imagine archaeological sites as spaces of active memory. 

Future Collect is generously supported by Art Fund, Arts Council England and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. 

Image credits:  Image taken by Emii Alrai on trips to Land’s End and Dunnet Head, 2021- 2022. Courtesy of the Artist.