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YARA + DAVINA: Goals

Children and adults play football in a bright room. The room is carpeted with astro turf and there is a goal post at one end.

Image: Lucien Ebongue

'Goals' is a new project by artist duo YARA + DAVINA who worked with the young people at Art Block to think about their personal and collective goals through the mediums of art and football.

YARA + DAVINA make site specific bold, playful and thought-provoking public art. In 2019, they worked with the National Trust on More United Than Divided, a new, ambitious social practice artwork. More United Than Divided explored craft and collectivism within women’s football with a focus on feminism both in terms of the suffragettes and in terms of equality within sports. Following conversations at Art Block, YARA + DAVINA decided to focus on the theme of football again for this project as it was of huge interest to lots of the young people!

Through workshops with the young people and artists, over the winter of 2022/23, the group developed two main themes that they were interested in: compassion and kindness, and doing well at work. These themes led to the creation of the two commission slogans:

BE A DEFENDER
OCCUPY THE FIELD

These slogans appear across all aspects of the project, like chants on a pitch. See them on the Art Block football scarf that has been produced as part of the project; on bespoke goalposts and sewn across custom quilted footballs.

Working together as a team like football players do on the pitch, the young people at Art Block designed the scarf and balls. Like a football kit, wearing the scarf will bring people together as though they are part of the same club or community.

About YARA + DAVINA

YARA + DAVINA (Yara El-Sherbini and Davina Drummond) make social practice artwork, creating ambitious public artworks that respond to site, context and audience.

Unfailingly inventive, they use formats from within popular culture to make works which are accessible and playful. Their issue based work is wide ranging, from geo-politics to lessons on love, from knowledge production to mental health. Using formats such as jokes to mini golf and choirs and tattoo parlours, they root their works in the everyday, using a lightness of touch and humour to make works that are both poetic and universal.

Based between the UK and the US, they’ve created artworks for multiple world leading art venues and public organisations such as Tate Modern and Tate Britain, Venice Biennale, BAM (New York), Somerset House, Manchester Art Gallery, Baltic, IKON, National Portrait Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, Delfina Foundation, INIVA, Camden Council, Studio Museum Harlem, The Victoria & Albert, London, ZKM (Germany), HIAP (Helsinki), Kaunus Art Biennial (Lithuania), Modern Art Oxford, The RCA, Arnolfini, National Maritime Museum, and the ICA.

About MOMSO

MOMSO is a south London based sewing service who champions sustainability, recycle and reuse. MOMSO stands for ‘Michelle Osbourne Matthiasson Sewing Oasis’, which is exactly what sewing is to Michelle Osbourne Matthiasson – an oasis of calm and creativity. Taught to her by her grandmother at four-years old, Michelle’s practice is hugely varied – from delivering commercial products for well-known brands to running workshops at the Centrepoint Homeless charity.

Michelle gained her professional experience working as an apprentice for 3 years under Freydis Jonsdottir and appearing on The Great British Sewing Bee in 2013.

About Dalia Winston

Dalia Winston is a London-based experienced Graphic Designer with a history of working in marketing and communications. With a strong background in Branding, Corporate Identity, Publications and Data Visualization, she has worked with startups, established corporations, and non-profit organisations and is a frequent collaborator on YARA + DAVINA.

ABOUT

Art Block is the South London Gallery’s free space on Sceaux Gardens Estate for local young people and families to make things, be creative, and play.

Open Plan is supported by Freelands Foundation, with additional funds from Cathy Wills Charitable Trust, Southwark Council’s Cleaner Greener Safer Fund and Charterhouse in Southwark.

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<p data-src=Football scarf design by YARA + DAVINA, 2023. Made in collaboration with Dalia Winston.

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Football scarf design by YARA + DAVINA, 2023. Made in collaboration with Dalia Winston.

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Image: Lucien Ebongue