23 May to 2 June - Outside - Exhibition by Goldsmiths University at Crossbones Garden

From May 23rd, 2018, until the June 2nd, 2018, Crossbones Garden will host Outside, an exhibition of sculptures and performances with a free accompanying publication led by artists from Goldsmiths University.

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Outside connects the Crossbones’ history to contemporary issues facing sex worker communities. Crossbones Garden marks the site in south London where 15,000 people, predominantly women and children, were buried between the 12th century and 1857. Many of the women were sex workers, who were denied consecrated burial despite being licensed by the Bishop of Winchester. 

Six newly commissioned sculptures will be installed throughout the garden, produced by each artist in response to a one-hour conversation with a sex worker. Participating sex workers were contacted with the assistance of SWARM (Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement) Collective and English Collective of Prostitutes.

The opening on May 23rd from 4:30-6:45pm will include several performances, including a bed of nails performance by Manon Aquilina, and a performance by duo Chris Hinojosa and Tyler Eash, whose performance will involve preparing a body for burial. The opening will be followed by the monthly Crossbones vigil for the outcast living and dead at 7:00 pm.

A publication accompanying the exhibition, edited by Aubree Penney, includes an essay by “The Naked Anthropologist” Laura Agustín in relation to the recently implemented Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. The publication also features writing by Ava Raleigh, poetry by KLW, and artwork by Manon Aquilina, Laura Ní Fhlaibhín, among other contributors such as Linda Stupart.

The exhibition brings together creatives and academics from the UK and around the world, some of whom have a background in sex work, to reflect on the significance of Crossbones and the idea of the outsider.

The current legal precarity of sex work in the UK continues in the tradition of Crossbones: sex work is legal, but with a number of legal caveats around solicitation and brothel-keeping, marking sex work as a heavily moralised form of labour, and in turn rendering sex workers as outsiders.

Outside is co-curated by Aubree Penney, Alexa Phillips and Joseph Steele. The sculptures have been produced by artists Avril Corroon, Richard Ensor, Kate Howard, Alexa Phillips, Aron Ross-Kissman, and Joseph Steele.

Project partners include Bankside Open Spaces Trust, the Friends of Crossbones, and Menier Chocolate Factory, with additional funding from the Goldsmiths Alumni and Friend's Fund and beverage sponsorship from Old Blue Last beer.

The exhibition will be open Thursday, May 24th, to Monday, May 28th, and Wednesday, May 30th, to Saturday, June 2nd, 12-5pm, and is free and open to the public

NOTE: Because of the nature of the exhibition under 16s cannot be admitted without an accompanying adult.

For more information about the exhibition please contact the exhibition organiser Joseph Steele, email: jsteelegotw@gmail.com, T:07970 964 117

Crossbones Garden, Union Street, London, SE1 1TA

Sarah Mangan