Family Tapestry at Omnibus Theatre

Sister Octopi, is a long-distance collaboration between two artists and cousins: Dubai-based Natalya Konforti and Brixton-based Justine Formentelli. It opens on 7 March, International Women’s Day, in Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre.

This project began in 2017, following the suicides of a brother and cousin in  close succession. Searching for a way through their grief, the cousins began an  artistic correspondence which eventually grew into the rich threads of an unusual family  tapestry. 

Composed of hanging panels, each of which represents an octopus tentacle, the work is a conversation between the two artists. This explores themes of identity, belonging and adaptation, paying tribute to the  strength and resilience of sisterhood in the face of loss and tragedy. Separated by several  oceans and time zones, the two artists responded to each other’s work and emotions,  panel after panel. Inspired by the natural world, and their experience of  expatriation and family heritage, this suspended universe is an invitation to wander through a world of connections. 

Sister Octopi has featured at multiple locations in Dubai. This is its first appearance in the UK.  Taking cues from its eponymous octopus, the work transforms and adapts to  inhabit new environments, making each installation a unique experience.  Justine and Natalya will also host a collaborative workshop on Saturday, March 11th from  11 to 1pm at the venue.

The exhibition runs from 7 – 29 March in the Omnibus Theatre, Clapham Common Northside, SW4 0QW.

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