Thursday 11 April 2019

The Lore of the Land - Nature & Folklore Exhibition

The Lore of the Land exhibition, which is currently on at the Horniman, explores the deep-rooted relationship humans have with the natural world and also worldwide folklore connected to it. It is an immersive, multi-sensory installation.

At the top you can see a picture of ceramic artworks dispensing scents inspired by the Horniman Gardens. There is also a soundscape based on the chemical processes occurring in plants and trees. These are created by artist Serena Korda with a collective of local community members.

The exhibition also includes 100 objects from the Horniman’s anthropology collection, curated by the collective with Korda and Horniman staff. I photographed some of the things on display. To the right you can see a palm leaf figure of the rice goddess Dewi Sri from Bali and a corn dolly from Europe. Below left is cloutie tree rag from Dublin in the early 20th century. At the bottom is dowser's hazel rod.

On its website, the Horniman says: "The objects have been selected for the messages they carry about people’s spiritual and cultural relationship with plants and water. They include a dowsing stick from England, a statue of Mami Wata – an African deity accompanied by her divining snake, zoomorphic figurines from India, natural water containers, and an array of pipes, scent and incense holders from across the world."

The exhibition is on in the new studio, which is part of the Horniman’s wider anthropology redisplay to give a platform for its social arts programme. The Lore of the Land runs until June and the Horniman Museum and Gardens is at 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ.

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