Bikoka Art Project at Orchids
Bikoka Art Project is pleased to announce its collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as part of Orchids festival. For its 2023 edition, the much-loved festival is inspired by Cameroon’s biodiversity, making it the first African country to be the focus of this popular annual event.
Presented in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Bikoka Art Project’s exhibition includes Portrait of a Community – Features of a Land (2021-23), a new commission by Cameroonian artist Yvon Ngassam. The work selected engages with the festival through images taken by Ngassam in Lolodorf – a small town bordering a forest region in the south province of Cameroon. The photographs consist of portraits of inhabitants, everyday scenes, past and present architectures, landscapes, and panoramic portraits of senior members of the community who are the living memory of Lolodorf and the keepers of local knowledge and histories passed on from one generation to the other.
Across the Conservatory, a soundscape immerses the visitors into the rich sonic textures of Lolodorf recorded by Ngassam, and Cameroon’s rhythmic heritage explored by sound artist Elsa M’Bala.
In addition to the exhibition, Bikoka Art Project will host a programme of events on Saturday 4 March 2023 at 2.00pm with a conversation between Christine Eyene and Cooking Sections at Kew’s Jodrell Lecture theatre. The curator and artists will discuss their research and practice dealing with botanical histories in Britain, Cameroon and beyond, from a decolonial perspective. They will also address artistic practices engaging with nature, rural communities, knowledge sharing, sustainability, as well as issues around land ownership.
The talk will be followed by a performance by Elsa M’Bala at the Princess of Wales Conservatory at 3.45pm. M’bala will present a new sound composition inspired by the legacy of singer Anne-Marie Ndzie (1932-2016), a native of Bibia (Lolodorf), who was a pioneering figure of Bikutsi, an emblematic Cameroonian musical genre. The programme will also premiere a new video work by Ngassam filmed in Lolodorf, giving a voice to the local community. The screening will take place in the Conservatory’s projection room Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 March all day.
Until 5 March 2023
Princess of Wales Conservatory
London TW9 3AE
BIKOKA ART PROJECT EVENTS
Saturday 4 March 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm
Talk, sound art performance, screening
Sunday 5 March 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Video screened all day
Free entry with a ticket to Kew Gardens
Book your timed ticket here
It is recommended to book an Orchids admission time at least 1h before Saturday 4 March’s event to allow time to visit Bikoka Art Project’s exhibition in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
For more information on Bikoka Art Project’s Orchids programme, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
About Bikoka Art Project
Bikoka Art Project (BAP) is a new art initiative located in a forest, in the rural area of Bikoka (Lolodorf). Developed in 2021 by Cameroonian curator Christine Eyene, BAP blends natural environment, art, and local community by supporting educational, creative, and professional opportunities for young people and women through cultural projects with a positive impact on society.
BAP’s programme includes artists commissions, community workshops, international collaborations, and exhibitions across themes ranging from environment, history, traditional knowledge, through to contemporary culture.
About Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections and scientific expertise in plant and fungal diversity, conservation, and sustainable development in the UK and around the globe. Kew’s scientists and partners lead the way in the fight against biodiversity loss and finding nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, aided by five key scientific priorities outlined in Kew’s Science Strategy 2021-2025. Kew Gardens is also a major international and top London visitor attraction. Kew’s 132 hectares of historic, landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden and ‘living laboratory’, attract over 2.5 million visits every year. Kew Gardens was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 260th anniversary in 2019.
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