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Kneed: Art Block Ecologies

A handmade collage map with text that says We Are Here and an arrow pointing to one of the buildings on the map.

Image courtesy Kneed, 2024.

For the first time, the artist for this year’s Open Plan commission was selected following an open call. Artists and creatives based in Southwark, Lewisham or Lambeth were invited to lead a series of workshops over 12 weeks with the children and young people who attend SLG’s Art Block. Together with the young people, they would produce a creative outcome with Art Block attendees. 

Following the shortlisting of applicants, the children and young people voted on who they would most like to work with. The vote was close, but everyone was pleased with the outcome and and artist duo Kneed: Ishwari Bhalerao and Leonie Rousham have been selected to deliver their project, Art Block Ecologies.  

From April 2024, Kneed will explore how the spaces we occupy are part of living and ever-changing ecologies. They are inviting the children and young people to imagine and share stories while exploring the relationships between the past, present and future ecologies of Sceaux Gardens. These stories will be explored in different creative ways, using printing, photo developing, camera making, character design, illustration, filming, audio, and thermal imaging.  

Through group walks in the local area, the young people of Art Block will be encouraged to use all their senses to embrace and question the natural and built environments around us.

The final outcome will be co-designed with the young people and they will create a multi-sensory installation, which friends, family and the public can interact with.

<p width=Image courtesy Kneed, 2024.


Image courtesy Kneed, 2024.


Kneed is a collaborative practice formed by Ishwari Bhalerao (b. Nagpur) and Leonie Rousham (b. London). We are interested in building systems of care, support and resistance where external pressures are causing these to be exhausted or lacking. In a time when the government is treating the old, sick, disabled, and working-class people as disposable, it is more important than ever to collaborate, listen, learn and remember, from conversation and friendship. Thus, our workshops and studio practice focus on collectivising experiences, memories and stories around our ecologies, labour, time and care, mobilised as tools to resist systems of oppression, exhaustion and isolation. Our approach to making work is centred around process, conversation and imagination. 

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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 Southwark Council’s Youth and Play Grant Programme and other donors. 

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In 2022, Kneed also worked with our Education team on a resource for schools. In this video they talk more about their practice, share activity prompts and ideas for discussion.

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