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 Encourage. Empower. Then dance.
Movement as a process for reconnecting with our physical selves.

Exhibition all in: bodied takes place at Galeria Melissa London. A collaboration between multidisciplinary artists invited by Bryony Stone – a curator, writer, and former editor of It's Nice That. Launch today, October 18th.

Bryony created the all in: series in 2017 to use art as a way to spark meaningful conversations in the real world– and not just the online one. all in: the mind brought 19 creatives together to take a closer look at mental health. Later, all in: progress was released to build a community of London's most promising young talent right underneath the city's busiest station.

Now, Bryony has brought the female body into art. Not only the way it looks, but especially how it feels. Anatomy as a way to experience life, freedom, and power.
"The infinite variation of forms these bodies take and the way they move through the world can set us free."
Meet the artists.

Designer Sinéad O’Dwyer sculpts the female form in fiberglass moulds as a means of construction – a tool of both self-love and self-loathing. Sinéad developed each performers' look in dialogue with their current practice and previous work. 

Zoë Marden is one of those performers. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she plays with performance, video, text, sound, sculpture, and installations to create alternate worlds and speculative futures.

In all in: bodied, Zoë shares a video entitled teras, the greek word for monster. The piece came into being as a dedication to the Mermaid, a creature that blurs the boundary between women and fish, femininity and ferocity, land and sea, human and other. Hit play.

Crossing through commercial dance and art installations, we met Becky Namgauds. Based in London, this dancer and choreographer is a DanceXchange Choreography Award holder for 2018 and is also a panel member of Woman SRSLY, a platform for female led performance work curated by Grace Nicol.

Grace's artistic practice as choreographer and producer has a particular focus on the dance-gender debate. Her live work for all in: bodied, Slip Mould Slippery, explores the violence of object-body distinction.
Here's a Q&A we had with curator Bryony Stone:
How did you come up with the concept of all in: bodied?
all in: bodied was born out of ideas I've been ruminating over during the last year. Like most women, I think about my physical body a lot, but lately I've been thinking less about what my body looks like and more about all the things that it can do. My body can do whatever I ask, and I challenge it every day with Muay Thai spars, mile-long swims in my local lido, the freedom and euphoria found on a dance floor at 1am. But there are limits to what we ask of our bodies, and I am now more aware than ever about how much of a privilege it is to be able to move uninhibited. all in: bodied is a love letter to the female-identifying body in motion: the way she occupies space, the infinite variation of forms she takes, and the way she moves through the world. 

What about the other creatives involved, why did you choose them and how can we expect them to collaborate?
I am constantly researching artists working in every possible discipline. The exhibitions I curate for my IRL platform all in: are a visual manifestation of my latest thoughts and the artists who're able to reflect those ideas and bring them to life. Curating is about bringing together people with a shared energy and connection which weaves through disparate disciplines and life experiences. I saw Sinead's grad show and was fascinated by her approach to the female body. Having only seen the images digitally, I was fascinated to see how her sculptures might look in motion. I knew that Grace and Becky would be the right women to bring Grace's sculptures to life: they have an intuitive, questioning understanding of the dancing body. Zoe's research considers the wild, the mythical, the other-worldly — in short, my kind of woman. 

Do you believe that dance and movement can be a tool for self-love?
Through movement, we can connect more deeply with our physical selves tethering mind, body, and soul more tightly together. We often think of our mind and body as two separate entities, but they are intricately linked. By unifying the two, we can better understand our selfhood.

Is it important to be aware and happy in our own bodies?
As women, we are so quick to demonise our bodies for perceived shortcomings based on unrealistic expectations perpetuated by the advertising and fashion industries. We are so, so much more than the bodies which house us but if we don't accept our physical selves, we will never be content. 
After the opening night, Sinéad's creations will be repurposed as sculptural reminders of the female body in motion.

They will be displayed at our flagship until Sunday October 21st along with Zoë's video work. Don't miss it.

43 King Street, London, UK - WC2E 8JY
Mon—Sat 10:30am–7:30pm
Sun 12–6pm

Pics by: 

Zoë Marden 
Grace Nicol 
Ottilie Landmark 
Becky Namguads 
Marso Riviere

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