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Extreme Unction Vol. 2

Nwando Ebizie

A 70-minute guided multisensory experience

An abstract photographic image of orange glowing lights
Nwando Ebizie, Extreme Unction Vol 2. Photo by Seren Oakley

Extreme Unction Vol. 2 is a transformative space where grieving and loss meet ecstasy and exultation, a liminal sonic-ritual art environment inspired by the life and spirit of 12th-century visionary Hildegard von Bingen.

A cleansing without washing.

A touching without being touched.

A multisensory experience of intimacy, listening, stillness and communing with inner and outer worlds through sound, touch, taste and sense of the body in space.

Drawing community back together again at a time when we have all lost so much.

A preparation for viridity.

A piece of speculative architecture that functions as sonic installation, instrument and imagined communal bathing space.

A neurodivergent and biophilic approach to design.

An initiation into a new world.

We enter into mythic time as past and present turn in the circle.

Bathe in mesmerising beauty and join with oblivion before returning to new life.

First, you’ll be led by a guide in a 20-minute welcome session and offered a hot drink created by chef Adam Thomason. You’ll be invited to enter the Celestial Tent, a geodesic dome structure, for a 30-minute immersive sound and light piece, during which you can sit on benches with a variety of tactile surfaces, lay down, or walk around a central reflecting pool. When you come out, your guide will lead you in a 20-minute reflection and sharing session with a refreshing cool drink.

Working with architect/designer Bethany Wells and musician and instrument designer Tom Richards, Nwando has created the Celestial Tent as a structure that is a sculptural and sonic piece in itself. The Tent draws inspiration from hamams, saunas and bathing spaces from a variety of cultures.

Featuring a sonic journey which responds to the Hildegard piece ‘Favus Distillans’, a rich, sensuous song by Hildegard that exults in the legend of St Ursula, who along with 11,000 virgins died rather than submit to marriage. The song encapsulated death, rebirth and fecund fertility.”

Part of What Shall We Build Here, Artsadmin’s festival of art, climate and community from 28 June – 2 July 2023.

“Calm, reflective, I feel like I want to stay in there longer. I feel grateful to the artist for being generous with their noises & space & sharing it with us, I will come back”

Audience member

“It felt as if parts of my life that have been missing was being fulfilled”

Audience member

“It was beautiful, very moving, intimate but otherworldy”

Audience member

An unclassifiable polymath, British-Nigerian multidisciplinary artist Nwando Ebizie fabulates speculative fictions and alternate realities at the intersection of live art, experimental music and multisensory installation. Carving out her own
particular strand of Afrofuturism, she combines research into the neuroscience of perception, inspired by her own neurodiversity, and an obsession with science fiction with a ritualistic live art practice. She has undertaken residencies and commissions for London Sinfonietta; Aurora Orchestra; British Council at Pacodo Frevo Museum, Recife; Yorkshire Sculpture International/Hepworth Wakefield; Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival; Opera North and Sky Arts. Recent awards include an Ivor Novello nomination, an Oram Award and the Steve Reid Innovation Award. Her debut album was released in 2022 on Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Records to critical acclaim.


Extreme Unction Vol. 2 was commissioned by East Street Arts for Season for Change Festival, a nationwide programme of artistic and cultural events that celebrate the environment and inspire urgent climate action. Led by Julie’s Bicycle and Artsadmin, and supported by Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Extreme Unction Vol. 2 is part of a larger immersive performance and installation piece entitled Hildegard: Visions. Hildegard: Visions is commissioned by Mahogany Opera with additional support from Arts Council England.

Early-stage development of Hildegard: Visions has been supported by Mahogany Opera, Take Me Somewhere Festival/Battersea Arts Centre, Kings Place London, Opera North, Britten-Pears Arts, Bitter-Suite and Rich Mix, and by grants from The Marchus Trust and Vaughan Williams Foundation.

The Theatre is on the Ground Floor at Toynbee Studios, which is wheelchair accessible via a ramp at reception

  • All of our toilets are gender neutral. Fully accessible toilets are located on the ground, first and third floors.
  • In the first floor disabled toilet, there is a wheelchair-accessible shower with a fold-down shower seat and an ergonomic sink that is adjustable in height.
  • In the third floor disabled toilet, the accessible toilet has a shower with a hoist, which is an Opemed OT200c and has safe working weight of 200kg, and a powered nursing bench with safety rail.
  • There is a quiet space on the fourth floor.
  • We welcome guide, hearing, emotional support and assistance dogs. A drinking bowl is located in the café foyer.
  • More about our accessibility policy

    For further access requests or more information about the event before you attend please email

This is an immersive piece – you will sit inside a dome for 25 minutes. 
If at any time you want to leave, you can let an invigilator know.
There is a quiet, comfortable space to sit outside the dome, with daylight, if you need to at any time.

You will arrive at Toynbee Studios.
You will be met by a guide.
You will be offered a nonalcoholic drink – you do not need to drink it – and then invited to read some materials or sit and wait.
You will then be invited into the room where the installation is. There will be faint scents.
Inside the installation it is mostly dark. You will be invited to sit down, but you can move around as you feel. This is a relaxed environment. There is surround sound, meaning that the speakers are placed around you. The sound is mostly soft but it can get loud. We will provide ear protectors or you can bring your own.
This is a tactile space. You can touch the seats and the walls. 
The piece lasts for 25 minutes.
Afterwards you will be invited to sit down outside the installation and write down your thoughts. You will be offered a nonalcoholic drink – you do not need to drink it. You will then be guided out of the building.

Date and time

28 June – 1 July 2023
Pay What You Can

Please note
This is now a past event.


Theatre, Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
What Shall We Build Here
E1 6AB