Art Across and dez_rez_projects

'Baths, Washhouses and Art'

29th April 2020

dez_rez_projects is an artist-led pop up gallery and project space on Instagram, where the exhibition GALA was showcased. The exhibition, presenting paintings, drawings and videos, was a response by seven artists to the fascinating space, history and decoration of Victoria Baths in Manchester, a public pool and washhouse opened in 1906. It was meant to be curated in the space of the Baths, but due to the coronavirus pandemic it was presented online instead.

Sara was invited by the curator of the exhibition to contribute to the programme of online events connected to the exhibition with a talk relating to the subject. In an interestingly timely combination of themes, Sara explored the history of public washing, going back to the Roman baths, expanding on the Eastern tradition of Turkish baths and analysing how these converged in the Victorian upsurge of public baths.

As a response to the artworks in the GALA exhibition, Sara focused in her presentation on the connection between self-care and well-being practices and art and decoration, reflecting with the people attending (from home!) on the importance of art and beauty and of hygiene, both topical subjects during the lockdown period.

Click here for the exhibition's catalogue, including Sara's afterword (p. 17)