SOAS University of London

SOAS anthropologist to screen films on ‘outsider art and craft’ at RAI Film Festival

28 March 2017
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Andrew Omoding with his creation, 'Vessel for Sleeping Kitten'. ActionSpace Studio, Cockpit Arts, London. Photo T. Marchand 2015.

Two films by Professor Trevor Marchand, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS University of London, will be broadcast at The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI) Film Festival from 29 March-1 April.

The Art of Andrew Omoding  documents the ways that the London-based artist, with a spectrum of learning challenges, creates relations between otherwise disparate things, drawing them together into new constellations of meaning that are forever becoming, without fixed starting points or conclusions. Professor Marchand was commissioned to observe and document the working methods of Ugandan-British artist Andrew Omoding, whose works are displayed in the documentary film. The eight weekly sessions involved observing the artist’s creative processes and problem-solving tactics.

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Andrew Omoding exhibiting 'Book' at the ActionSpace Studio, Cockpit Arts, London. Photo T. Marchand 2015.

The Intelligent Hand, which examines the developing use of hand tools, a deepening understanding of materials and process, and the importance of craftwork in mainstream education. The film introduces a first-year cohort of British fine woodwork trainees at the Building Crafts College in Stratford, East London. Through the narratives of the course tutor and individual trainees, the film explores learning and skills, and investigates the synergy between brain, hand and the tools of our trades. Trainees discuss their motivations for taking up carpentry, the rewards and challenges they discover in working and problem solving with body and mind in unison, and their hopes and aspirations for future life and work.

Both films will also be shown by the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore at SIEF2017 13th Congress in Göttingen, Germany on 29 March 2017.