Otobong Nkanga in conversation with Hayward Gallery’s Rachel Thomas
Artist Otobong Nkanga’s suggestion that ‘caring is a form of resistance’ was the inspiration behind Hayward Gallery’s group exhibition, Dear Earth.
In this video Nkanga joins Hayward Gallery chief curator Rachel Thomas in a conversation about the themes explored both in the exhibition – which sees 15 contemporary artists respond to our connection to the natural world – and her own work.
The artist discusses our relationship with, and connection to, the world around us, explaining how we often make the mistake of trying to inflict our human timelines onto an environment with much greater timelines of its own, and also suggests how we can take inspiration from the natural world in our resistance to the climate crisis.
The pair also take a closer look at Nkanga’s tapestry Double Plot (2018). The work, which hangs behind them, in part inspired by the stars in the night sky, explores how we are able to see what is not presently visible, and also delves into power dynamics between the individual and the collective.
‘Food systems, water bodies and trees, all the things that are around us, they should be things we care for, because without them we cannot even exist.’