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Workshop for Spelunking: Discover your inner shell lunatic 2017

‘Spelunking‘, an 8-week video-making project led by artist Benedict Drew and open to all.


Taking Margate’s caves and tunnels as a starting point, we embarked on an imaginary exploration of the subterranean and creating a fictional underground space; a place of myth, retreat, contemplation, meditation or even a place to party. This was a chance to escape and regroup. Meeting weekly for an adventure in making; we explored sculpture, video, oral histories, movements, and discussions. Guiding this journey into the subterranean, each week we had a theme; from the underworld of the Ancient Greeks to smuggling. Participants were invited to contribute, learn new skills, or share a memories, inspired by the underground or reimaginings of it. The end result was a video made by leading artist Benedict screened in a Margate.


Emma Gibson and I ran Discover Your Inner Shell Lunatic, a workshop exploring value and currency through the lens of 17th century ‘Conchlyomania’. Taking you on a deep dive into the history of “shell-lunatics” by first presenting a history of collecting natural vs man-made creations as systems of value, participants were then invited to bring shells gathered from the shorelines of Kent (or use our pre-gathered finds) and embark on an alteration process, where every shell found was released back into the wild in a new, even more collectible form during a closing expedition.

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