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biome: experiments in radical kinship

A collage of photos of Black women's hands and feet, combined with green mossy boxes and fractal reflections
Collage by Zoë Laureen Palmer

biome: a biological community that has formed in response to climate and the physical environment 

Zoë Laureen Palmer is the artist in residence at the Artsadmin Canteen from summer 2023 to spring 2024.

Over the coming year, biome: experiments in radical kinship will explore how we can feel our way into meaningful relationships with the natural world, within the communities local to Toynbee Studios.


Zoë’s residency aims to open up dialogues about biodiversity to include the small things: the unseen, the algae, bacteria and microbiomes that support our ecosystems, asking:

What if biodiversity begins at home in our bodies, our microbiomes and embodied ecologies?

In the face of devastating biodiversity loss, how can we nurture the wellbeing of our inner gardens and extend this care into the living world of which we are a part? 

How can we become more implicated in the continuous growth, protection and flourishing of the earth we choose to tend, however small, polluted and degraded it might currently be? 

What are the mundane rituals we need to cultivate connection in these dangerous times?


Public programme


Spring 2024

Seeding and planting workshops

Beginning in Spring 2024, Zoë is running a series of practical growing workshops to make use of the spaces in front of, above, and around Toynbee Studios, in collaboration with community participants. Through collective embodied practise, local residents and workers are invited to grow a space of collaborative nurture.

biome: seeding workshops | 23 March 2024 | Past Event

The first in the Spring series of biome events, biome: seeding workshops welcomed in local residents to explore our relationship to seeds through workshops on seed swapping and sowing, seed paper making, botanical hand cream making, visual collaging, tea tasting and meditation at the Artsadmin Canteen.

biome: sprouts and microgreens workshop | 24 April 2024 | Free, booking required

The second Spring biome event at the Artsadmin Canteen will be a practical introduction to starting a sprouts microfarm at home. This workshop will be in collaboration with Alba Caffé.


Winter 2023

biome ballroom: hinterlands | 25 November 2023 | Past Event

biome ballroom: hinterlands, the second in the biome ballroom series, invited audiences to take off their shoes, drink herbal teas, and listen to Keir Vine’s immersive soundscapes in the Artsadmin Canteen. They mixed their own mocktails, chatted and danced along to the more-than-human selekta.

An Afternoon with The Gardening Drawing Club | 10 December 2023 | Past Event

Artist Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck, in collaboration with The Gardening Drawing Club, held space in the Artsadmin Canteen to discuss themes of growth and growing, while guests drew from Zoë’s installation biome: forrest.


Autumn 2023

biome: sprouts and micro greens | 29 September 2023 | Past Event

sprouts and micro greens are currently being cultivated in the Artsadmin Canteen in collaboration with Alba Caffe and Event Space, who share responsibilities for maintaining and harvesting the plants. In September, Zoë ran a sprouts and micro greens workshop, where people learnt more about them and their uses, found out how to grow them and shared different recipes.

biome: forrest | 17 October – 11 December 2023 | Past Event

biome: forrest was a temporary installation which served as an experimental urban sanctuary for rest and regeneration within the Artsadmin Canteen. This tiny biome was populated with more-than-human kin including houseplants, mosses, and the ancient cyanobacteria spirulina, and accompanied by a durational soundscape by sound artist Keir Vine. In a time of unprecedented environmental collapse and urgency, forrest was a portal inviting us to slow down, surrender and allow space for the flourishing of our radical imaginations.

biome ballroom: peatlands | 20 October 2023 | Past Event

biome ballroom: peatlands was the first in a series of evening events Zoë ran in collaboration with Keir Vine. They imagined the biome ballroom as a sonic durational ritual, dance and liberatory dreaming practise that explores encounters and relationality with our more than human kin, partly inspired by visionary hip-hop producer J Dilla who, facing his own early death, played with rhythm and time like no other. 

Audiences were invited to an immersive experience of sound, scent, dancing and interspecies rest, beginning and ending in the Artsadmin Canteen. Artist Kookie Blue performed in the Theatre at Toynbee Studios and guests mixed their own mocktails to beats from a more-than-human selecta.


Summer 2023

What Shall We Grow Here? | 1 July 2023 | Past Event

The residency began in July with What Shall We Grow Here? – an installation and open workshop exploring seeding and planting rituals in the local area. It took place during What Shall We Build Here 2023, Artsadmin’s biannual festival of art, climate and community and was co-curated by the Community Climate Champions.


biome: experiments in radical kinship is supported by BE PART, through the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, and Arts Council England.

Events

Date Location More info
biome: sprouts and microgreens workshop
24 April 2024
4–6pm
Artsadmin Canteen, Toynbee Studios, UK Details and tickets

Date Title Venue City
23 March 2024 biome: seeding workshops
20 February 2024 Community Breakfast
10 December 2023 An afternoon with The Gardening Drawing Club
25 November 2023 biome ballroom: hinterlands
20 October 2023 biome ballroom: peatlands Artsadmin Canteen, Toynbee Studios
17 October – 11 December 2023 biome: forrest
29 September 2023 biome: sprouts and microgreens workshop Artsadmin Canteen, Toynbee Studios
1 July 2023 What Shall We Grow Here? Artsadmin Canteen, Toynbee Studios What Shall We Build Here
28 June – 2 July 2023 What Shall We Build Here Various locations:
8–12 September 2021 What Shall We Build Here Various locations:
A collage of photos of Black women's hands and feet, combined with green mossy boxes and fractal reflections
Collage by Zoë Laureen Palmer
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