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Tan, KS., 2018.

Exhibition of tapestry art and film (Southbank Centre)

Output Type:Exhibition
Venue:Southbank Centre
Dates:5/9/2018 - 9/9/2018
Number of Works:2


The tapestry art 'I Run and Run, Let Out an Earth Shattering Roar, and Turn into a Giant Octopussy' was exhibited on its invisible loom at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer. Southbank Centre. This took place between Wednesday 5th - Sunday 9th of September. This was accompanied by an audio description. On 6th of September, there was a screening of the MagicCarpet film poem, 'Of Wanderings and Meanderings' (Official Selection, Arts and Humanities Research Council AHRC Film Award 2019). This was followed by a performance-lecture by Kai and a chat with Professor Philip Asherson. Around 700 people interacted with the installation, and 80 people came for the performance-lecture, during which Professor Philip Asherson also gave a short presentation on ADHD. This was part of the Unlimited Festival 2018.


'Again, a thought provoking evening and I've since been mulling over how society is set up, what the rules are, why they are there and what happens if any of us, from those at the end of the spectrum or even those in the middle, decide they are not going to conform. I'm also going to give my mind permission to wander a bit more, although probably not when someone is paying me to do my job!' - Dr Kathy Barrett, University Lead for Research Staff Development, Centre for Research Staff Development, King's College London

'Just a belated note to say how much I enjoyed the talk at the Southbank, thank you for the invitation! You should do a TED talk!!' - CHRIS BAKER, Four Communications

'Thank you so much for a wonderful lecture and for inviting me. It was really interesting and I learned so much more about your research and met some really cool people.' - Sushank Chibber

'I really like learning new things and I certainly did at your South Bank talk with Kai and Philip Asherson. I thought that the talks brought a deeper understanding to the meaning of ADHD to someone like me who operates within the 'cells'. I take great pleasure in organising and listing and it is very useful to learn more about different approaches and perspectives with regards to work, daily life and the world. Thank you.' curator Dominica D'Arcangelo

'Thank you for an entertaining and thought-provoking performance/presentation. Your performance/presentation [ at the next conference] should be a breath of fresh air to those attending - most academic presentations are usually quite awful.' - Dr David Grant, Educational Psychologist

'It was a pleasure to be with you in action Kai. You create a kind of "being with". You are in our presence and we in yours. So, we were not listening to a lecture or watching a slide show. You were being you, in all your energy, power, wit, vulnerability, confusion and searing clarity. Just wanted to say that about sitting on a mat with you. Great opening message and imagery. The images you used are clear and strong throughout the talk. Keep them. They show the un reasonable adaptation clearly and with passion. I loved the flow and the moving between the restriction of boxes in forms to mind-wander-mapping. Perfect.' - Lois, artist working in the intersection of art and science, Leeds and London.


The tapestry was weaved at Flanders Tapestry, which also weaved the tapestries of artists Grayson Perry, Laure Prouvost and others. Large, overcrowded, over the top and overworked, #MagicCarpet flits in and out of reason, legibility and consciousness. It explores mind wandering through the kaleidoscope of time - out of, attuned to, in, without, suspending, prolonging, foreshortening, distorting, travelling, rolling, running out of. It is also a safari of mind wandering beasts/domesticated pets, of pixels, of tactility, of palimpsests, of sex, of death, of mortality, of immortality, of sweat. There is Basquiat as there is Beckett, Kathy Acker, Hokusai and My Little Pony. Grotesque as it is tender, the tapestry is light and flighty as it is weighed down by gravity and the pungency of being alive. The tapestry references what Kai learnt during the residency, as well as to Rene Magritte's famous Time Transfixed, as an example of how the arts celebrates the wanderings of the mind. The image is itself a snapshot of the artist's restless and busy mind. She is depicted sitting on a rug, making drawings on iPad, in a reference to her own process of creating this image which is her first in 20 years. Close by is a woman also with a digital device, this time a laptop. This is mathematician Ada Lovelace, who worked with Charles Babbage on his early prototype of the computer (the Analytical Engine), which was inspired by the Jacquard loom. Her taking centrestage in this image thus not only celebrates her status as the figurehead for women in science, but reminds us that the 'digital' refers not only to computers, but how it relates to the craft of weaving and hence how these, like our toes and fingers, are extensions of the magical human body and mind. The invisible loom, made in perspex, was designed by the women-run Studio LW Furniture in London, illustrating #MagicCarpet's continued commitment to working with women, BAME and neurodivergent people.


We Sat On A Mat and Had a Chat and Made Maps #MagicCarpet was an award-winning art-science commission (2017-2019) that has already been enjoyed offline by 10,000 people worldwide. Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, academics, service users, health policy officers, dyslexic children, teachers, art lovers and more aged 2-85 have enjoyed its tapestry art installation, workshops, films, keynote lectures, performances, photographs, badges, seminars and more at Southbank Centre, Science Museum, NESTA Innovation Showcase, Peter Scott Gallery (Lancaster) in the UK, SOS Dyslexia Conference in San Marino, covered Big Issue North and Resonance FM, and the cover of British Journal of Psychiatry, discussed in The Conversation, and described as 'beautiful' (Disability Arts Online) and having created a 'family' for neurodivergent people (The Psychologist). #MagicCarpet ed by Unlimited and supported by King's College London.