India Harvey, 2022
Artist India Harvey worked with a group of local young people who identify as LGBTQIA+ to think about and create personal pride flags.
India worked with a group of local young people who identify as LGBTQIA+ to think about and create personal pride flags that reflected their ideas, identities, and communities. This immersive and hands-on project invited the young people to explore and experiment with different materials and processes such as fabric dying, fabric printing, collage, drawing, sculpture, printing and simple sewing skills. The group used the different approaches to create layers of texture and meaning on their personal pride flags, which they kept and used during the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Youth Parade.
The safe and creative space created by India encouraged the young people to take part in all the different activities and create thoughtful, powerful and honest pride flags.
One of the highlights of my work year has been a project I ran with NTC for around 20 LGBTQAI+ young people and allies at The Vibe in Dagenham, this three day project explored how we might foster a sense of belonging through our public and private identities as queer people and allies. We experimented with fabric dying and manipulation on small and large scale, created personal talismans and used sewing machines and digital print to produce flags and weables for a local youth parade. The group took so quickly to a huge range of processes that were messy, tricky or unfamiliar to many of them and I think through this group learning we managed to create a really bonded, supportive environment full of conversation and ideas. India Harvey
India Harvey is an artist and researcher whose work explores the possibilities of having multiple, distinct & complex relationships with the textures of our lived environments; how these relationships express themselves and how we may be able to relate to others’ through shared exposure to unusual materiality. This investigation into the experiential margins promoting new kinds of value systems of expertise and intelligence, attempting to consider 'difference' as a positive universal.
This practice is active in the struggles against imposed/implied essentialism of marginalised or misunderstood bodies and minds, with a particular focus on Neurodiveristy, child cultures, inclusion and access, seeking to create spaces that enrich perceptual, cognitive and multisensory experiences of art by granting participants permission to interpret and understand on their own terms. This requires an approach (and a commissioning body) that accepts unpredictable mess, and playful chaos, with a view to challenging mainstream ideas of sensory hierarchies and ocularcentrism as the dominant mode of art engagement.
India often collaborates with others, working in interdisciplinary and cross-generational contexts. India’s previous work includes collaborations and commissions with the South London Gallery, Tate Modern, Camden Arts Centre, Milton Keynes Art Gallery, Focal Point, and the Arnolfini, as well as working for many years as a Playworker in several London Adventure Playgrounds. Most recently India has undertaken the Lumsden Residency at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, is touring an immersive installation with dancer Fernanda Munoz-Newsome and is collaborating with Lisa Marie Bengtsson on an under-5s playspace at the Barbican Centre, London.