Omens – making futures took its inspiration from the tradition of molybdomancy - a divining practice from ancient times involving pouring molten metal into cold water. This produces startling and beautiful forms, unique and different each time. These are then held in the light of a candle and the shadows that are cast are interpreted as representing the future of the person casting the omen. This tradition continued to be practiced during my childhood in Finland and still forms part of many families New Year celebrations. The Omens project used this future forecasting technique to bring together local and displaced people at three communal participatory events (ACA Continuum Midsummer art weekend 22.6.2019; Open Hearth event @ACA 9.11.2019; Platforma 5 in Folkestone & Margate 12.11. 2019) These events involved spending time together eating, talking, casting omens, thinking about the past year and our hopes and fears for the future.
Many of those who participated gifted their omens to me and these gifts became the basis of the exhibition at BALTIC 39. Each ‘omen’ is individual, unique to its maker but when grouped together and suspended they create a cloud of collective experience, a community of pasts and futures, hopes and fears allowing us to contribute our own stories to the future we will make together.
Omens was funded by Arts Council England, The Finnish Institute in UK & Ireland and GemArts.