- Jelly Cleaver hosted by PretaHub
- Annabel McCourt hosted by DIVERSA
- Sussan Thompson hosted by Instituto Mesa
- Wanja Kimani hosted by Despina
MEET THE ARTISTS
Jelly Cleaver is a guitarist, producer and singer-songwriter based in South London and has been called ‘exceptional’ by Clash magazine and ‘one to watch for sure’ by Gilles Peterson. She's received the Steve Reid Innovation Award, is a Serious Take Five artist, and was nominated for an Ivors Composer Award. With a deep and eclectic love of music, Jelly is heavily involved in both the jazz and DIY/post-punk scenes in London, and she’s equally happy composing a politically-charged duo for piano and projector as she is being a disco DJ.
She's also an activist, and a strain of political dissent runs through her music. Recently her work has been inspired by anti-racism, Cosmovisions and climate-justice. Alongside her solo project she also leads disco/jazz seven-piece All Day Breakfast Cafe and spiritual jazz ensemble The Forever Presence, as well as playing guitar for Queen Colobus, Loucin and other projects.
Annabel McCourt is an international contemporary artist based in Barton upon Humber, UK. Her work ranges from lens-based gritty social-realism, through to public & installation art, moving image and architectural interventions inspired by fact, folklore & legend. Her celebrated LGBTQIA+ work ‘Electric Fence’ was commissioned for Hull City of Culture in 2017 and has been touring since; including the Biennale of Contemporary African Art, ‘Dak’Art’, in Dakar, Senegal. Hate crime is an ominous, prevailing presence in contemporary society. Borders, barriers and warning signs have come to be a part of our everyday life. Still, are we being kept out, or is something being kept in?
‘Electric Fence’ is a thought-provoking and confrontational piece. It encourages viewers to examine the perceptions, challenges and preconceptions that impact us all in modern life, and compels us to turn to face them. Sometimes described as an interdisciplinary social artist; McCourt’s uncompromising work explores the age-old collective struggle between morality and power, right and wrong, good and evil.
International exhibitions include: 'Flying the Flag' - solo show - British Council UK/AUSTRALIA Season, c/o Midsumma Festival and Abbotsford Convent, Australia (2022) ‘Expectations’, ‘My Fence’ (Electric Fence), & ‘Delphine’ screened at International Project III AMNUA, Art Museum of Nánjīng, China (2018) , 'Electric Fence' interactive installation, Dak'Art - Biennale of Contemporary African Art Dakar, Senegal (2018). UK solo shows include: ‘REMOTE’ - The Brynmor Jones Gallery, Hull (2020), ‘Electric Fence’ – The Collection and Usher Gallery, Lincoln (2020) ‘Suffering Arcadia’ – Scarborough Art Gallery (2019).
Susan Thomson works across the formal boundaries of visual art, film and literature and is currently directing Ghost Empire, an Arts Council of Ireland funded series of films.
Ghost Empire § Cyprus (2014), Ghost Empire § Singapore (2014) and Ghost Empire § Belize (2021), and in production Ghost Empire § Maurice (2023), follow constitutional challenges to anti-LGBTQ+ British colonial laws and have screened widely internationally including at Anthology Film Archives, New York; Kashish Mumbai Queer International Film Festival; Scottish Government, Edinburgh; CCA, Glasgow; Limerick City Gallery; INIVA, London; Yale NUS; MICGénero Film Festival, Mexico City, where they were nominated for best international film.
Ghost Empire § Belize (2021) premiered at the Irish Film Institute Documentary Festival in 2021, and won two IndieFEST Film Awards that year; an Award of Recognition (Documentary Feature), and an Award of Merit (Liberation/Social Justice/Protest), and is Official Selection at Liberation Docfest, Bangladesh, CAMRA Screening Scholarship Media Festival at Penn, and Catalyst International Film Festival, Ireland in 2022. Susan has completed residencies at Queen Street Studios, Belfast, and ‘Troubling Ireland’ Thinktank at Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin, with Kuratorisk Aktion.
She holds a Masters in French Literature from Oxford University, an MA in Modern Languages from Cambridge University and a Masters in Fine Art from IADT, Dublin. Her artist’s book The Swimming Diaries was exhibited and sold at Artbook@PS1 MoMA, and she has written for many publications including Circa, IMMA magazine, and JSTOR. Her film Fire Practice Theatre (2009) screened at ‘No Soul for Sale’ in Tate Modern, London.
Wanja's work flows between performance, film, text and textiles. She explores memory through the body and the fluidity within social structures that are designed to care and protect, but mutate into coercive forces within society. Driven by stories about real and imagined people and places, she places herself within narratives and uses her body to explore ritual, objects and the rural landscape.
In 2021, she was commissioned by the New Hall Art Collection to respond to their exhibition, 'Maud Sulter: The Centre of the Frame’ and she created a film and publication, Tongues, which explored fairytales, language and play. In her current body of work, she is experimenting with words and natural dyes from plants.
She is a PhD candidate in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London.