InnerSwell is a project by artists Laima Layton and Lexy Morvaridi, developed as a series of collaborations with people living in the vicinity of Gasworks. The project explores memory and sound and is inspired by inspired by Pauline Oliveros’ pedagogy of Deep Listening, a process of 'listening to learn'.
InnerSwell is informed by the collective power of community activism, localised ‘real politics’ of empowerment, and networks of support. It exists to amplify localised community work, offer experiences of the creative process, empower people to create and develop narratives through the use of sound.
At the core of the practice is a framework that they call The Fertile Dome. This is an accessible physical and proverbial space in which Lexy and Laima provide the tools for people to create using sound as a medium for collaborative and narrative work. A fundamental component in the structure of this space is a practice they have developed, called The Ritual.
Through a series of interventions - they encourage people to share stories, memories, ideas, and thoughts through provocations related to sound. This often forms the beginning of the creative process for participants and allows for discussion to develop and evolve into sonic possibilities. A major component in their work is recontextualising the past, in the present, through sound - The Ritual often becomes a catalyst for this process to start and can create a consensus conceptual discourse.
As part of the residency at Gasworks they have been working with local community groups and space to document sonically their own importance as assets to the community, and their political value as places of agency and empowerment.
Through the creation of an environment where ideas and stories can be formed and shared through discussion, crafting, collecting, and generating sound, InnerSwell offers an accessible experience of the creative process, allowing participants to develop their own practice and build personal narratives through the medium of sound. Innerswell is working towards the production of outcomes with each of the groups that can be shared with the public such as sound installations and sound art.
Innerswell is currently working with:
Working in collaboration with young participants of London’s oldest adventure playground InnerSwell has explored the way the space is used by its regulars using sound to weave narratives between the past and present.
Over a series of workshops, the young people were invited to sonically explore the space, produce their own sounds responding to objects, the environment, and each other, learning how to record the sounds and then use the sounds creatively in a different context. The nature of the work and the creative process has been informed and led by the young people and the way they interact with their own space.
InnerSwell is currently interviewing multi-generational people who are either using the playground now or have used it across it’s 65 year history to add to the sonic piece of work that has been developed over the past 6 months.
The work that is being developed is to document, explore and amplify the sounds of the space and the importance of this place to the community. It will result in a sonic piece of work culminating in the production of a multiple to fundraise for the adventure playground.
InnerSwell led a series of workshops to develop a live re-scoring of the films in Bassam Al-Sabah's exhibition I AM ERROR at Gasworks. The group produced sounds inspired by the provocations of The Ritual in relation to their own identities and interpretations of the film. The work culminated in the participants performing a public live three-hour re-scoring of the film that was well attended throughout the day.
Over a series of workshops InnerSwell have collaborated with OPAL to create a sonic piece of work that represents the significance of the group and the support that it provides to its members. Using sound as a way to embody the connections made between participants and the empowerment they have found in each other, narratives were developed that evolved into sonic realities. Through a number of creative exercises and The Ritual the work culminated in a piece imbued with political agency, echoing their slogan “We Exist”.
Rooted in the São Paulo contemporary art scene, Laima Leyton’s credentials in the world of music are firmly established as one half of Mixhell alongside her husband, Iggor Cavalera, and for her work with Soulwax. Her last work, ‘Home’, is a conceptual double album released by DEEWEE in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory that revolves around routine, power, life and death. She has performed her music in people’s homes, creating intimate spaces for audiences to reflect upon themselves. In 2021, Laima will explore opportunities where the audience can experience sound as a reflective and healing tool.
With Richard Saltoun Gallery, Laima draws on her multifaceted identity as a producer, musician, activist, artist, mother and teacher to create eight unique sound pieces to accompany the programme ‘On Hannah Arendt: Eight Proposals for Exhibitions’, engaging with themes of Infinite Past, Infinite Future and Now, Culture and Nature, Lack of Truth, and Spiritual Science.
Lexy Morvaridi is passionately involved in the UK’s independent, DIY music sector, having worked in various roles as well as grassroots projects and activism; he has an MA in Cultural and Creative studies from Kings College London and currently programs the contemporary music at Southbank Centre. As a British-Turkish-Iranian artist he works across various sound art and music projects that explore the themes of agency and identity. As a curator and producer he has developed various projects including co-founding the Total Refreshment Centre Record Label, producing an Arts Council Funded collaborative album and corresponding youth engagement project inspired by the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (18 Artists), released through the cultural platform/label co-founded with his brother, Lonely Table.
Gasworks Participatory Artist' Residency Programme: Bridging Divides a two year programme working directly with artists and migrant communities in Southwark and Lambeth, supported by the City Bridge Trust.