New Exhibition: Mumchance and Guise


mumchance & guise

Friday 25 September - Saturday 28 November

Open: Monday to Friday (and some Saturdays) 10am to 6pm

Admission free

A new exhibition showcasing artifacts from the English Folk Dance and Song Society archives alongside new works by contemporary artists.

The performance of folk dance and ritual inevitably involves costumes and forms of disguise. This camouflage enshrouds folk performers and transforms them, removing them from everyday existence, separating performer and community.

Most folk costumes are precious, unique, hand-made and purpose built objects. This new exhibtion at Cecil Sharp House draws together some amazing costume artifacts from the EFDSS archives and shows them alongside costumes and performance works from contemporary artists whose work is concerned with tradition and folk ritual.

Included in the show are a selection of dolls which depict folk and dancing costumes from both English and European traditions. Some of these have been donated from visiting folk dancers, and some were made especially for EFDSS.

The works by contemporary artists have all been involved in performances, and they all bear traces of their ritual use. These costumes, and the performances they are involved in are very much ‘folk’ but all have at least an added extremity to them that highlights the strangeness and the joy of ritual disguise and performance.

Megan Broadmeadow
Matthew Cowan
Tim Johnson
Michelle Bloom
Gery Georgieva