Emily Hesse: The Witches’ Institution (W.I.)

27 May – 18 Sep 2022

The Tetley , Leeds

Emily Hesse presents The Witches Institution (W.I.) featuring a series of experimental works, discussions and experiences. The exhibition and its programme aim to think about what a cultural institution run by historically defined ‘witchcraft’ and alternative magic could manifest as on a planet in turmoil. 

The Witches’ Institution (W.I.) brings together Emily’s sculpture, curatorial practice and PhD research at the Belfast School of Art, Ulster University. It also includes work by artists Ana Mendieta and The Otolith Group. 

Clay acts as a key material for the exhibition. As well as using clay as a material for moulding, Emily sees her sculptural practice as an expanded shaping of thoughts, histories and alternative futures. She uses the concept of magical materialism to produce objects, installations, diagrams and stories. 

Emily is a multidisciplinary visual artist based in the Tees Valley. Her work questions and aggravates social and political power dynamics on both a micro and macrocosmic scale, through revolutionary thinking, philosophy, regional folk histories, collective action and the use of land and its associated materials as a physical form of protest. 

The Jerwood Tetley Commissions are part of our Development Programme Fund that provides funding for arts organisations who, with vision and skill, can deliver transformational development opportunities for artists, curators and/or producers. 

Emily Hesse, The Old Wife, 2019, Courtsey of the artist