The Elusive Good Egg
Open studio from East London based artist Milou Stella
London: The Create Place Bethnal Green 15/5/22-21/5/22
East London based interdisciplinary artist Milou Stella is hosting a collaborative and performative series of events during her Open Studio week at St Margaret’s House. During a three month residency, Stella has developed a body of work including paintings, textiles, wearable hybrids and digital music, while exploring her personal journey through the surreal landscape of the involuntarily in/fertile. Her Open Studio week embraces the Bergerian concept of hospitality by inviting strangers inside her process of creation. It will involve a community event for people affected by sub fertility, stillbirth and miscarriage, an online music and digital performance, and culminate in a two-day open gallery event, where stella’s residency works can be viewed in its entirety.
The artist is interested in hybridity, storytelling and narratives at the intersection between the world of in/fertility and queerness. Her deeply imaginative, brightly coloured artworks knot personal subject matter with the fantastical and absurd. The Elusive Good Egg is a series of experiments that encourage dialogue and debate around traditional family making, reproductive technology, gender, identity and the heteronormative language used within the world of in/fertility.
The Open Studio week is in three parts: Act I, The Silent Struggle is a three day community event for people affected by sub fertility, stillbirth and miscarriage; Act II, In vitro is a hybrid digital collaborative performance taking place online involving the artist’s animated projections, and with live digital music composed in collaboration with guitarist and composer George Paris and percussionist and producer Ryan Mc Grath; during Act III, Everything in Embryo, the studio opens as a gallery, with opportunity to view and participate in this body of work.
“It's a tough subject to delve into with words. This is why I'm working towards using images and hybrids instead. One medium can't possibly be enough for the complexities of the crossroads between queerness and in/fertility”
There will be resources available for anyone experiencing fertility treatment, offering information on the politics and struggles that accompany people looking to start a family through a medicalised process.
About the artist:
Milou Stella’s multifaceted artistic practice explores the tension between the personal and the political, and the individual and the collective, with a specific interest towards deconstructing and re-inventing visual poetics rooted in folklore and storytelling. Stella’s hybrid artworks destabilise simplistic binaries and act as creative resistance towards normative ideas of identity and gender. Her work was recently exhibited as
part of Traces: Stories of Migrations (2021, Poplar) in partnership with London College of Fashion and Making For Change; and in Utopia: Eco-Feminisms, Art from Heart (2021, Mile End). She was the main visual artist of The Molly’s Masquerade (2020-21) in partnership with St Margaret’s House and Heads Bodies Legs Theatre (Arts Council England, Heritage Fund UK). This was a year long queer community and participatory project where Stella contributed a textile installation exploring the intersectionality of the lives of 18th century London queer pioneers. She also co-led the R&D Imagi-Nation.png exploring the radical meaning of ‘care’ with performer Kazuko Hohki and participants from the Carers Centre of Tower Hamlets, using digital technology, online events and improv music techniques to devise the future of the project. The Elusive Good Egg follows from an earlier exhibition of the works Epic Egg and Mythological Nesting Woman at St Margaret’s House.
About St Margaret’s House:
The St Margaret’s House residency is a space for experimentation, exploration and enrichment, where artists can push boundaries, test new ideas, and within this, engage the local community via artistic intervention. Providing in-kind studio space for 3 months, St Margaret’s aspires to be a launch pad for east london artists to develop and enhance their craft, and be supported in future ventures that the residency may bring on.
As a long-standing partner and collaborator of St Margaret’s House, Stella’s residency is
a momentous occasion for celebration and cultivation - the pinnacle of the work she has done for the St Margaret’s House community over the past 5 years.
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