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‘Enchanted Things’: The Margate School’s MA Degree Show - Guest Review by Cheri Allcock

On 1st July 2023 The Margate School opened its doors for ‘Enchanted Things’, the culmination of a two-year project in which seven artists on the Art Nature Society MA programme would come together to show their work as one celestial body.


Esme Bone's work on display at Enchanted Things exhibition at The Margate School
Esme Bone's work on display at Enchanted Things exhibition at The Margate School

The opening was lively, with us artists buzzing around relieved, jubilant and deliriously tired, while visitors moved through the show with small rocks on the ground to lead them around the artworks. A lot of our show is based on the ground and takes the audience through different spaces and heights, asking one to look up, down and around.

Our works have grown roots and undergrowth. Themes and aesthetics overlap and interweave.

Some of Dominic Rose’s ‘things’ are seen hanging from the wall and wrapping themselves around hand-made wooden stands, not plinths.

Esme Bone too decides against the traditional plinth and creates her own stand using rolled up paper. Much like her artwork, which appears to be spun entirely from her own body, Esme creates her own yarns, papers, inks and modroc from waste and recycled materials taken directly from her own day-to-day life. The sculptures explode with life before they begin to sag, crumble and transform again.

Lively interactions occur in the space, Anna Presilia’s delicate sculptures balance and tip, with fresh water being fed to one of them. A mixture of materials, organic and inorganic, play poetically; latex, clay, wire and garlic shells move subtly as viewers but breathe and walk by.

The works in the show, which seem ephemeral and fleeting in their togetherness, bring up notions of labor/play, use/futility, memory/ loss ‘work’ and love. Dominic’s stills frame his everyday objects in a way which gives them voice and value while creating both curiosity and discomfort.

While situating ourselves outside of the commercial framework we have tried to tell a story which is honest, fragmented and in constant conversation with the current landscape of ‘art’ and ‘things’.

Willow Winston’s labours of love bring together an array of things and materials to revere, yet there is no hierarchy between works of steel, wood and a set of newly collaborative paper books, the result of a number of participatory workshops. The colourful paintings hang for the viewer to explore.

In a dark space in the corner of the room we find the sound of sleep, together with photographic works from Nicola Roper. A subtle and enchanting conversation happens as the viewer is encompassed by Nicola’s installation and we are touched by its hands. While longing for communion between the image, the voice, our past and our present selves, we are granted the room to create and connect.

Outside of the main space you’ll find Sophie Parker’s room where the smell of old furniture mingles with sound and drawings. Here, we enter into a fragile and personal inner space, both ethereal and bodily, as Sophie’s automatic and meditative drawings fill the room. ‘Houses are really bodies,’ says Leonora Carrington. ‘We connect ourselves with walls, roofs, and objects just as we hang on to our livers, skeletons, flesh and bloodstream’ (The Hearing Trumpet).

Finally, if you wish to enter the house and the voice of another artist, a painter living in the northern mountains of Morocco, with her daughter and I singing songs of love, disappointment and mouths, you might slip around the corner to watch my film, ‘Red, pink, mauve, orange’ (Something about dreams).

The works in the show, which seem ephemeral and fleeting in their togetherness, bring up notions of labor/play, use/futility, memory/ loss ‘work’ and love.

We could all tell you how the group has grown over the space of the two years. So much so that our works have grown roots and undergrowth. Themes and aesthetics overlap and interweave. Above all else it has been two years of dialogue and conversation.

We used the ‘open-space’ technique as our main resource for having meetings and making decisions – exploring both theoretical and practical elements of the art making world and its downfalls.

If the show is an autoethnography of the group and its growth, it demonstrates that while situating ourselves outside of the commercial framework we have tried to tell a story which is honest, fragmented and in constant conversation with the current landscape of ‘art’ and ‘things’.




The school is now recruiting for postgraduate courses starting in October 2023. Take a look at the courses coming up this academic year.


Find out more about the artists:

Watch the interviews with the artists and visit their websites and socials below.

Cheri Allcock: Cheribyme.yolasite.com

Esme Bone: @esmebone

Sophie Parker: @sophieparker_art

Nicola Roper: @this.place.between.us For film and photography enquiries visit Nicrop on LinkTree

Willow Winston: willowwinstonart.com


This article was first published on Corelate's website.