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30 November 2023

Squishy Collective at Metroland Studios

image of a group of guests exploring exhibition in metroland gallery.  A group of people cluster around a table looking at the books and objects collected there.

This winter at Metroland Cultures our gallery has melted into the warm fuzzy embrace of the Squishy Collective.

With their exhibition Soft-Tissue: Feeling-through precarious times, the collective have curated a circle of sculptures, materials, films, sounds and texts that offer and open up gestures, rituals and ideas for navigating precarious times.

Alongside the exhibition the Squishy artists have curated an accompanying programme of events and gatherings which invite participants into a world of tactile and sensory exploration. Amongst these are an Air-tasting workshop, Photographic divining, and Intestinal knitting. You can learn even more on the events page.

Open to the Public

On Friday the 24th of November Soft Tissue opened to the public. Audiences were able to explore for themselves the many tactile and sensory artworks. These include a breath-sculpture created by artist Becky Lyon, which includes heat-sensitive thermal paper which reacts to the heat from breath. Other artworks include the audio-visual poem Gut Feeling created by Anastasia Khodyreva which contemplates unacknowledged labour, unease, and friendship. As well as the sculpture Wet Nurse created by Abigail Fletcher-Drye that contemplates the artist’s breastfeeding journey. You can read about all of the artworks included in the exhibition in the exhibition programme below.

photograph of a sculpture presented on the ground. Made of what appears to be blonde human hair in a long rope-like plait is woven amongst unfired clay forms.

Soft Tissue: Feeling-through Precarious Times is an opportunity to encourage sensory exploration, and create an environment for thoughtful reflection. Asking the questions: Can material be used to metabolise harm? Can physical processes help us sense inner emotional worlds? What constitutes ’safe’ touch’? How can touch be used to rehearse different ways of being and doing? Can a text be tactile…and why should it be?

All of the artworks on display are generously offered by members of the Squishy Collective: Amanda Rice, Anastasia (A) Khodyreva, Becky Lyon, Catherine Monahon, Eliza Bennett, Georgia Perkins, Natasha Sabatini, Rhona Eve Clews, Rosina Godwin and Kate Langrish-Smith, Abigail Fletcher-Drye.

Exhibition programme

Who are the Squishy Collective?

The Squishy Collective are an artists research group who formed in April 2021 and have been meeting online ever since, convened by artist and Metroland studio resident Becky Lyon. Comprised of sensuous ecologists, fizzy researchers, haptic writers, mermaid-whisperers, clay-crafters and generative gesturers, together they share methods drawn from art research to explore the intersection of touch, tactility and practices of care as part of a toolkit for navigating precarious times. You can keep up to date with the Squishy Collective on Instagram.