New Art, Writing, Performance and Workshops inspired by Southwark's Cuming Collection

Curated and commissioned by Sophy Rickett and Judy Aitken

Friday 16th March - Wednesday 4th April, 2018

Featuring work by: Pamela Abad Vega, Marcus Boyle, Sarah Butler and Eva Sajovic, Beverley Carruthers, Adam Dant, Lalu Delbracio, Alan Kane, Liam Magee, Steve Martin, Jessie McLaughlin, Harold Offeh, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Janetka Platun, Sophy Rickett, Paul Tebbs, Xana

London College of Communication (LCC) and Southwark Council are pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition, Elephant Atlas. Taking place in the main gallery spaces at LCC’s Elephant and Castle site, the exhibition features works inspired by one of London’s most eclectic historic collections, the Cuming Museum Collection. 

In spring 2013, the London Borough of Southwark’s Cuming Museum Collection was displaced by a fire which damaged the building in which it was housed. Since then, the collection, which includes art, sculpture, ethnography, natural history and objects reflecting the lives of ordinary residents of Southwark has been working to find new ways of engaging audiences in its work.

For the Elephant Atlas project, fifteen artists and writers were commissioned to produce a work draws inspiration from this unique context. Working across photography, illustration, installation, artist film, creative writing and participatory practice, they have explored many diverse ideas, including the legacy of colonialism in contemporary society, the notion of how an original trauma or loss might stimulate new forms of growth, the pathology of collecting and the rich diversity of oral histories.

At this moment in its continuing history, Elephant Atlas explores some of the questions that the Cuming Museum Collection presents to its local community. More broadly, it begins to consider how museums might find alternative innovative strategies for making their collections available to the public in the current political and economic climate, physically, as well as an online. 

The Cuming Museum Collection is a repository for the histories of a community; a way to imagine and re-imagine the lives that were lived here before, their politics, preoccupations, beliefs, ways of life. Elephant Atlas celebrates and explores it, and its current condition in its delightful, yet challenging diversity.