Ritual and Play

Short films and found footage exploring Mayday ritual and the games people play. 

Saturday 3 May 12pm - 4pm at Assembly, Frankham Street, Deptford SE8

An Owl Seance 

Topics: [Deptford] [film and video] [hauntology]

The Owl Seance

A programme of short films at MK Gallery, March 2014. A journey through the lost A roads of the British landscape as we explore new towns, electronica, suburban witchcraft and the echoes of a haunted past

For more on these themes visit our OWL SEANCE Tumblr

For more information about the video programme visit MK Gallery

Topics: [film and video]

Rookhampton Time Machine

Influenced by the work of a former Roehampton resident, H.G. Wells, this short animation was created in response to ideas of the past, present and future of the area. As part of our ongoing engagement we have been looking at the ideas that informed the building of the Alton Estate and the aspirations the residents have for the future. We worked with residents to collect stories about the area and then shared these stories with children at Heathmere School who illustrated and story-boarded this animation and built their own time machine. The materials collected were then animated by Mak Ying-Ping and narrated by local resident Ed Rowell. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQQdO3Q-s2Q

This short animation is a collaboration between Avant-Gardening, Mak Ying-Ping / makyingping.com children from Heathmere Primary School and residents of Roehampton.

Topics: [animation] [children and young people] [community engagement] [film and video] [regeneration] [Roehampton]

Roehampton Time Machine

Avant-Gardening is running a new project to create a short animated film with local school children. Based on The Time Machine by one-time local resident, H.G. Wells, the animation will be inspired by stories and anecdotes shared by local residents and will then be illustrated and shaped by the participating children. Watch this space for more information

Got a story to share?
Join Avant-Gardener, Polly, in Roehampton Library on Wednesday 5 June 11am - 1pm

Topics: [children and young people] [community engagement] [film and video] [psychogeography] [Roehampton] [school] [storytelling] [Wandsworth]

MK Gallery Video Space

Derek Jarman, The Queen is Dead
Derek Jarman, The Queen is Dead

Avant-Gardening's Paul is this months guest curator of the video space at MK Gallery, Milton Keynes. The films selected for this programme were chosen as they represent parts of a complex cycle of heightened emotions and the societal and psychological factors which can contribute to an individual’s perception of self. The films range from the reflective through to a pop art visualisation of war and destruction and explore the complexity of a symbiotic interaction between the individual and society.

Films incude:

Tanaami KeiichiCrayon Angel (1975) 3mins

Yukio MishiimaYukoku AKA Patriotism AKA Love (1966) 28 mins

Derek Jarman, The Queen is Dead (1986) 6mins

Standish Lawler Necrology (1970) 11mins

Marianne Heske Phrenological Self-Portrait (1976) 8mins

Sandra LahireLady Lazarus (1991) 25 mins

MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 3QA


Topics: [film and video] [In Every Dream Home] [Milton Keynes]

Inside the Dream Home

Film Screening / Zine making - Avant Gardening

Thursday 1 November / 6.30pm / Free  

MK Gallery

Join Avant-Gardening as they explore the archives of otherness as portrayed in vintage popular culture and consider the messages included in pulp fiction and B movies of the time. Through the creation of a fanzine we will explore how the appropriation of the image and creative experimentation subverted the push to conformity and normality. Illustrated with short films, mind bending film clips and an eclectic soundtrack of grooves and retro rock we will explore the wilder fringes of pop culture and the move towards experimentation that challenged the orthodoxy of the time.


MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 3QA


Topics: [film and video] [popular culture]

In Every Dream Home, a Heartache

Mertle Merman
Mertle Merman

As part of Wide Open School at the Hayward Gallery, in Fritz Haeg’s Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Economics at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre. SE1

Advance tickets available from Southbank Centre website

In Every Dream Home, a Heartache

a day of events and activities co-curated by Paul Green of Avant Gardening

Sunday 17 June 11.00 - 20.30

The received images of housekeeping in contemporary Western society are generally based on mid-century concepts of domestic havens; a nuclear family with clearly defined gender roles and power structures. Any deviations from this norm were given short shrift in the post-war world of the mid-20th century, so where did the queer voice fit into this seemingly perfect construct and how have perceptions altered in recent times? During the day Avant Gardening will be looking at the tensions between the role of the gay person as 'the other' and the juxtapositions between the concepts of domestic bliss, the outsider and the concept of a queer home economics.
Drawing on the high camp imagery of both mid-century domestic bliss and even camper negative stereotypes of gay 'outsiders' from popular culture we will be creating a fanzine that explores the role of home economics in the popular imagination. As part of the creation of a fanzine we will be looking at alternatives to the traditional perceptions of domestic bliss, considering the pressures of conformity and the contemporary view of a gay household. We will also be considering the rituals of domesticity employed to keep the spectres of dirt and disorder from the home and will be joined by Mertle (performance artist, Caroline Smith) for her Butoh inspired cleansing rituals. As Mertle herself explains:
Now, you might have a question about cleaning an aspect of your gorgeous homes-and-garden. Perhaps your nautical theme has left your carpet dripping wet. Your pedigree partner puked up and stain busters refused to bust. Or you may – dirty blighters that some of you are- have a question about cleaning your actual selves. Who knows.All questions will be answered by Mertle. The best will win a Prize. At the very least you can scrub off that perma-stain. To ask Mertle your question visit http://www.carolinesmithonline.com/2012/06/mertle-mermans-butoh-manifesto-and-tent-cleanse-at-the-hayward-gallery-london/
We will also be joined by Radical Faeries; White Rose and Faerie Query who will be on hand to talk about the international community of Radical Faeries.
Artist Paul Harfleet will be talking about his work and his interests in the implications of identity, citizenship and its influence on the navigation and memory of the urban environment. He augments and re-contextualises various sites and objects by allocating them with new meaning or significance often through drawing, photography and intervention, from his on-going Pansy Project which involves the artist planting pansies at the site of homophobic abuse to his current focus on masculinity, cultural homophobia and the iconography of punishment and execution.
Overseeing the day’s activities will be artist Paul Elwick and Avant-Gardeners Paul Green and Polly Brannan who will be facilitating the production of the fanzine - an old school, lo-fi, cut and paste publication to be created by the participants at the day. The Avant-Gardeners will also be offering wild flower seed prescriptions and hosting a potluck lunch - so bring your delicious delights to share with everyone! Throughout the day we will be intermittently relaxing to a specially compiled playlist of music that ricochets from the fuzzy sounds of vintage rock to sensual classics ripped from the soundtracks of the annals of exploitation sinema.


Topics: [collaboration] [fanzine] [film and video] [Hayward] [performance]

Nightingale TV

Have you seen bats on Woolwich Common?

Do you want to share a story of your gardening successes?

This summer the residents of Woolwich's Nightingale Estate will become news reporters and journalists as they investigate the urban nature in their area. From bird-spotting to urban growing the intrepid reporters will be reporting on the latest trends in urban gardening. The project will be launched at Welcare, Nightingale Vale, SE18 on Wednesday 10 Aug at 1pm and is open to all children and young people that live on the estate.  Come along and sign-up to be part of the news team.

We are also looking for people of any age who have a story to tell! You could make Nature News headlines and be visited by our Mobile News Desk who will interview you about your gardening tips or nature news. If you have a story to tell contact paul@avantgardening.org and we will arrange a time for you to be interviewed.


Topics: [film and video] [Nightingale Estate] [urban gardening] [Woolwich]

artwork by polly brannan
website by the useful arts organisation