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Babylon @ Chelsea
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As part of the New Babylon exhibition, we (myself and Sara Gulamali) rented a space at Chelsea College of the Arts to hold peer-to-peer art-workshops in. At the time, we were reflective of what was taught at UAL and art schools at the time and was looking for ways to express accessing artistic knowledge based on our own (cultural) experiences - away from the white art canon. This resulted in this prompt to teach anything you’d like to others.

In total, 11 workshops were given by artists and students from across London colleges.

A few examples of workshops were:

  1. a plasticine workshop by Jerome.
  2. a collaborative painting workshop by Yemi Olade
  3. a saree workshop by Jannat Hussain
  4. a movement workshop by myself

‘‘As a teacher and researcher at Chelsea College of Arts I have witnessed many creative and inventive student based projects at the college over the past 7 years. The New Babylon project at Chelsea was undoubtedly the most original and creative that I have witnessed and experienced in my time teaching at Chelsea.

What stood out for me was the peer to peer framework for learning and co investigation of an extraordinary range of aesthetic, social and cultural matters ranging from a workshop on musician Childish Gambino to an experimental exploration of the archive of North African collaborative painting methods. The intense creative energy among the group was always present and I felt like I was taking part in an alternative art school and curriculum development laboratory.

Samboleap Tol’s referencing of the utopian spirit of Constant s Dutch New Babylon project in order to filter its energy and experimental nature into the context of a multicultural group of art students in a London art school proved to be a hugely successful and stimulating experiment in transnational art education and production a provocative crossing of genres and energies that has left a significant legacy at the college for future generations of students to learn from.’

Professor Paul Goodwin, UAL Chair of Contemporary Art and Urbanism and Director,TrAIN Research Centre, University of the Arts London: Chelsea

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Video by Jannat Husain

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