Artist Talk with Alice White

Kirsty Lowry in conversation with Alice White

Kirsty Lowry in conversation with Alice White

Alice is a professional oil painter who came to speak to us at the Homestead Pavillion pretty much immediately after taking down her final show at the London Zoo following a years residency there. In conversation with Kirsty Lowry who is an Education Project Manager at local arts organisation Bow Arts Trust. The discussion got into the nitty gritty of measuring eels at 6 am in the river Thames, questioning scientists through an artists dialect and the role that the arts can play in opening up new dialogues between the public and such specialist activity and expertise in an organisation like London Zoo. Alice was able to behold entire species of minutae that are almost extinct here on Earth and in the back rooms of the Zoo where the public cannot go. The artist's role as medium for expanding new lines of communication, representation and connection in a space such as this seems vital now more than ever before.


Thank you Alice for coming and sharing your experiences and we hope to see more as you pursue your next sea creatures- sharks!


You can follow Alice's research on her blog -

Photos by Blanca Regina /

Memory Map: planning a city through collective memory, Kimbal Bumstead

Homestead Pavillion

Homestead Pavillion

We are in a forest clearing, away from the roar of the city, surrounded by dappled afternoon sunlight casting happy shadows onto the homestead. It is still under construction, we are building a new wall onto it ready to become a place for visitors to share the story of where they came from. We are making a map. Groups of people walk by, on their way to somewhere, or just wondering around, enjoying this enclave of nature. They stop at the homestead, curious by its panel decking and the smoke of a smouldering fire, lured by an invitation for tea and toast and a game of ping pong. They sit down on the deck and we talk about where they came from, how did we get here? And where are we now in fact?


I ask what they can remember about their childhood home and if they would like to share a drawing of it onto the walls of the homestead. It’s hard to remember, there were so many different homes, how to choose which one. Which one is the most significant? I ask, and what if anything do you remember? They pick up the chalk and begin to think, imagining their house as if they saw it from above, as if imagining the walls might bring back memories of what was inside them, what kinds of feelings or thoughts….

Many people came by, young and old, those who were born around the corner and those who were born around the world. As they came, and sat and drank and ate and drew, the wall became filled with the marks of those who are here now, the people of this city, who came from somewhere but are here now. This is our city of our memories, and all that came before is part of now. All the stories are mixed together. Countries, places and time all joined into one.

A man comes by for a cup of tea. He grew up in Spitalfields, the house was long and thin and there was a tin bath that they washed in, there was a balcony or something along the edge of the house, but he couldn’t remember how it looked exactly. Things have changed a lot since then, the house doesn’t exist anymore. He couldn’t remember much about the place other than that there was a tin bath, and next to it a roaring fire place where they would make the water hot, and a chair by the bath on a tiled floor where his mum would wash him. There was a cat who would sit on the heating almost like the cat was the heating itself.


As more people came to the homestead, their memory houses became connected to others; they became neighbours. The city began to grow.


Next door was a vague memory, mostly the stairs, there was a shop and a house above a shop. As a young boy he remembers only running between the house and the shop. Up and down the stairs. Between the shop and the house. That was in Cyprus, but I lived nearby too, in a house in South London, where a giant plant with roots that came out like furry tentacles and leaves that were like crazy parasols loomed over my head. I was scared to go into that part of the room. I looked out of the window and could see that what had emerged was a giant field of grass and a boat that a little boy had drawn up out of his imagination. Out of his blue front door was a big smelly truck that was parked under a big tree. Many people started to move in the lady from Beijing in her square and yellow apartment, the man in Kathmandu and the boy in Taiwan. He lived next door to Megan, whose sister had gems hidden in the kitchen with the strawberries, and behind her house was the ocean sparkling, where you could walk under the palm tree outside an apartment block in Stepney Green….

And so it went on that the map turned into a chaotic mangle of places from New Zealand to Reunion Island via Istanbul, and it was as if you would walk around the whole world as if it was one village.


There were a lot of children who came to join the map making, sharing their creative talents and their interesting perceptions of space. There was a man who had lived just round the corner from this park as a child and moved away long ago but came back to the park to reminisce. He could not remember how his house looked, but he remembered coming to this park as a child with his mates. In those days it was all dodgy and overgrown, they would called it the “cemo”. “Lets go down to the cemo…”. They would climb over the fence and throw apples at each other, there were many apple trees in those days, and break off sticks and play Robin Hood.

For some it was hard to recall memories, both to imagine through drawing but also perhaps too personal to expose. Others found the drawing easy because their parents still lived in that same childhood home. Some could not remember because they can never had just one home, that they had always been moving around. But now, for all, London was home, a place that one girl told me that she felt “free”.

Cello Practice with Greg Hall from Minima/

Cello Practice with Greg Hall from Minima/

People gathered around the fire toasting marshmallows, tea became wine and the silence became the haunting sound of a cello. And gradually as the night came in, people started to leave, to go back to where they stay, walking back through the dark woods, catching glimpses of the bright lights and glass towers of the city through the trees.


Photos and text by Kimbal Bumstead


Performance and video artist Marcus Orlandi comes to spend some time at the Homestead on Saturday 1st August from 6pm


Marcus Orlandi creates new work Nest for The Homestead Pavilion that will aim to challenge the perceptions of the homemaker. This durational performance piece will unearth the ritualistic gestures found in the extraneous actions of outdoor living and aim to question the temporality of a nomadic way of life. 


Repetitive tasks will be completed in turn within the landscape to create a fragile installation of incidental landworks made from natural, house-building materials. Nest will naturally conclude once all material is reshaped and re-purposed into an item of practical worth and the space changed to form order out of chaos. Audiences are invited to watch this physical performance piece that incorporates movement, installation and sculpture that will alter a given space and make settlements where there were none. 


Marcus Orlandi is a performance and video artist based in London. Previous commissions include Pre-Tape for the Camden Arts Centre, 3:16 for the London Word Festival and Catch for The Nunnery Gallery. Past curatorial performance projects include CHANCE//ACTION for Kingsgate Workshops and Prop and Proposition: the body as sculpture at Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery, London.

Talk: 'A New Wave- Art and Conservation Science' with Artist Alice White

6.30 PM Friday 31st July

Come to the Homestead Pavillion to listen and take part in the discussion with Alice White in conversation with Kirsty Lowry from Bow Arts Trust. The fire will be going and the kettle at the ready.

Alice White, Project Fish Net 2014

Alice White, Project Fish Net 2014

Alice White has recently completed a year's residency as the Selected Artist at ZSL London Zoo. Her project, entitled 'A New Wave: Art and Conservation Science' aims to provide an exciting view into the fields of traditional science and marine conservation, translating the valuable work undertaken by those dedicated to the field into easily accessible, visual forms. Her talk at the Homestead Pavillion explores the artists' experience of the zoological discipline, in all it's mysteries and complexities.

Alice White is a professional Oil Painter, born and bred in London. Her recent exhibitions include the Music Room in Mayfair, Kingly Court in Carnaby Street, and the Affordable Art Fair in New York and London. She is featured in the October issue of Vogue Magazine. (Oct 2014)

“If Santa squeezes one of Alice White’s awesome oil paintings into my stocking, I’d be a happy girl.” Lauren Laverne, Grazia Magazine                        

Monday evening Memory Map and marshmallows

Often when we've needed something, the answer arrives from between the compost heap and the grave stones. Last week, when faced with moving the very heavy pavillion, sixteen JP Morgan Investment Bankers on an 'away day' in the Cemetery were passing by with wheelbarrows. Akin to scene from Fitzcoraldo, they picked up the structure, and shuffled it to it's current location. 

Given the dampness of our ground/wood/water falling out of the sky, we've been struggling to the light the fire. In the midst of frustration with our scrunched up paper and in determination not to simply lob petrol all over the pit, a lone man clutching a can of lemonade sloped in to the homestead, in need of an occupation. He quietly took the lead. It transpired he was an expert fire-lighter from the South of France (wolf country, apparently). Using his can of lemonade, twisting sheets of newspaper around it to form a hollow tower, and insisting that in France you use a wine bottle, he made us a fire arguably too big for our ranch.


Phillip, a committed Shuffle volunteer has taken up residence with us at the Homestead for the past two days, talking westerns, Fassbender, Stepney. Dave stopped by on his way home from work for tea and table tennis. 


Resident artist Kimball continued the Memory Map project and will soon be writing a piece about the conversations the project sparked amongst visitors.


The Homestead Story

Publication poster

Publication poster

The Homestead Pavillion is designed and built by NorwayCreek. 

The pavillion is a home-space experiment that hopes to welcome passers-by into a thought provoking, conversational and playful environment. The space has been built by a team of friends, SHUFFLE volunteers, brothers small and big, dog walkers and festival goers. More than a work in progress, it is a space that you can really make


Memory Map: Plan for a city

Artist Kimbal Bumstead on a two day residency at the Homestead Pavillion

Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th from early evening. Come and visit and contribute a drawing or a memory whilst enjoying tea and toast at the Homestead Pavillion.

Memory Map, Marsala Road, Kimbal Bumstead

Memory Map, Marsala Road, Kimbal Bumstead

Drawing on the diversity of backgrounds of the population of Tower Hamlets, Kimbal Bumstead’s project “Memory Map” asks us to think about place as a collection of personal experiences, and how to record these experiences through the act of drawing. As a part of the Homestead Pavilion, visitors will be invited to recall a memory of their childhood home by contributing a drawing of the ground plan of the house, as if seen from above, to a collective fantasy ‘map’. The map will grow between Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th July, with drawings, text and images relating to memories of that childhood home. How collectively can we negotiate the conjoining of memories? How do we all fit together?

There will be a guided performance walk (on Tuesday Evening?) around the park, followed by a discussion, to think about how we can use this map of memories to navigate the place we are now in.

Kimbal Bumstead NL/UK is a multi-disciplinary visual artist and performer whose work is project led and situation-specific. His work explores notions of nomadic identity, fantasy and home. Recently he has been working with different refugee groups with projects focusing on storytelling and migration, and is currently working on a video project about nomadic communities in Mongolia.