- a participatory art project



The first phase of ‘Omens – making futures’ took place at Continuum - ACA – Allenheads Contemporary Arts on Saturday 22 June as part of the Refugee Week celebrations.


The project brought together participants from the local and refugee communities through the sharing of a meal and in the activity of casting omens for the future. 


'Omens – making futures' took its inspiration from the tradition of molybdomancy - a divining practice from ancient times involving melting metal over an open fire and pouring it into cold water and then interpreting the resulting form. This is still resonant and widely followed practice in my own birth country Finland.The energetic interaction of metal and water can be seen as symbolic - in bringing together these very different materials we produced something extraordinarily beautiful - like the exciting emergent new forms that are forged when different communities come together and share their cultures.We saw something of these forms emerging this weekend in the new friendships made, the stories told and the celebrations of our differences and similarities shared.


The stories prompted by the casting of the 'omens' were amazing and I think we learned a lot about each other as well as having a lot of fun! Now looking forward to developing the second phase of the project.


Thank you to Allenheads Contemporary Arts for hosting us and to Gem Arts, The Finnish Institute in London and Arts Council England for their support in making this memorable and beautiful event possible.


Photos by Sharon Bailey

Tin leaf, smoke plungin hot tin in water Group with hands up Omen, shape, tag lovely woman melts tin