Seeds of Change: A single day featuring performance and audiovisual works by Niya B, April Lin, Xiuching Tsay, & Rafal Zajko

20 November 2021

"Still there are seeds to be gathered, and room in the bag of stars."


- Ursula K. Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, 1986


Seeds of Change presents work from contemporary artists that help the viewer to reimagine their relationship with the natural world, to destabilise anthropocentrism and highlight plant intelligence. Many of the participating artists use storytelling as a strategy of activism, manipulating and inventing narratives taken from the plant world.


Rafal Zajko's performance will cast the well-known Slavic folklore figure Chochol as a symbol of community and awareness. Made from straw-sheafs, Zajko invokes a character traditionally associated with passivity and national apathy, as a warning cry for the ecological crisis.


A collaborative film between April Lin 林森 and ecologist Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, 'TR333' (2021) is a speculative construction of a new species of tree for the year 2040, that recasts the ecological crisis from a multispecies and affective gaze.


Created especially in response to the exhibition and exhibited here for the first time, Xiuching Tsay presents 'Fertilizer to the Future Body' (2021), a confessional and interactive performance work that highlights our ability to manifest futures, bringing a more hopeful outlook for what's to come.

Seeds of Change hopes to dismantle the centrality of the human subject in the popular imagination, and upturn the animal-plant hierarchy to humble the human experience in favour of plants. Discover work that awakens the cellular consciousness and reconnects you within the larger ecosystem.


Short biographies:


Niya B is a transfeminist artist, working at the intersections of visual art and performance. She uses video, soundscapes, text, live acts and immersive installations to explore themes related to ecology, posthumanism, (trans)gender politics and wellbeing. As a counteraction to political polarisation, Niya seeks to establish intimacy with her audience, creating a meditative space of vulnerability, affect and interdependence. Niya has exhibited at Tate Britain, CCA (Glasgow), Performance Space (Folkestone), NEoN festival (Dundee); and others. Niya B Lives and works in London.


April Lin 林森 (b. 1996, Stockholm - they/them) uses video as a self-reflexive andcathartic tool, interweaving strands of auto-biography, world-building, documentary, performance, and the post-Internet, topped off with an inevitable garnish consisting of the other matters dialoguing with their brain and heart during the making process of each piece. Uniting their genre-fluid body of work is a commitment to centring oppressed knowledges, building an ethics of collaboration around reciprocal care, and exploring the linkages between history, memory, and interpersonal and structural trauma.

Their films have been shown and screened at, including but not limited to: the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, HOME, Royal Art Institute of Sweden, LA Filmforum, MADATAC, Botkyrka Konsthall, Arebyte Gallery, Konstfack, Camden Arts Centre, Beijing International Short Film Festival, Tunis International Feminist Art Festival, Floating Projects, Underwire Festival, Chinese Arts Now, Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, NOWNESS Asia, and 4:3 Boiler Room. April Lin 林森 lives and works between Stockholm and London.


Xiuching Tsay (b. 1993, Thailand) is interested in exploring the interplay between colours that form dynamic narratives, creating energy and rhythm in her painting. Tsay is concerned with developing a personal and unique visual language, both meaningful and abstract, to clarify an unclarity, to question clarity. She uses her practice to find meaning within the painting process, whilst seeking the otherness (the alien self) outside this logic. Xiuching Tsay lives and works in London.


Rafał Zajko (b. 1988, Białystok, Poland) lives and works in London, UK. He holds an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art, London, UK. Recent solo exhibitions include Amber Waves at Public Gallery, Resuscitation, Castor Projects, London, UK (2020); We Were Here/My Tu Bylismy, Galeria Im. Slendzinskich, Białystok, Poland (2019); Unputdownable, White Cubicle, London (2018). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including shows at X Museum, Beijing, China (2020); TJ Boulting, London, UK (2020); Bold Tendencies, London, UK (2020); Goswell Rd, Paris, France (2019); Ashes/Ashes, New York, USA (2019); EXILE, Vienna, Austria (2019); Vitrine, Basel, Switzerland (2019); Litost, Prague, Czech Republic (2018); Focal Point Gallery, Southend, UK (2016). His work will be on show in New Contemporaries 2021 and Whitechapel Open 2022.