Oreet Ashery’s Revisiting Genesis & Dora Gordine’s Black Orchid

Installation view of Oreet Ashery’s Revisiting Genesis at Stanley Picker Gallery (2016) featuring Black Orchid by Dora Gordine (1956). Photography Ellie Laycock

OREET ASHERY’S REVISITING GENESIS & DORA GORDINE’S BLACK ORCHID

Content warning: please note, due to the nature of the subject matter, some of episodes of Oreet Ashery’s Revisiting Genesis which are mentioned below contain sensitive content relating to illness and death.

Whilst we are temporarily closed to the public, we are working with our partner venue Stanley Picker Gallery to compile a weekly newsletter highlighting previous projects, collection items and activity suggestions to keep you inspired and creative at home. Recognising the huge importance of our carers, healthcare staff, and all key workers, exemplified by the weekly #ClapForOurCarers, the theme of today’s newsletter, Thursday 16 April is care, and features Oreet Ashery’s webseries Revisiting Genesis.

Commissioned through the Stanley Picker Fellowships, Oreet Ashery’s webseries Revisiting Genesis went on to win her the Jarman Award for artist film in 2017. Revisiting Genesis sensitively explores the philosophical, sociopolitical, practical and emotional implications of the processes surrounding death, our online presence and reincarnation, following the journey of two nurses both named Jackie. Episode 9: Our Nurses features a conversation between fictional and practising nurses talking about the close relationships between carers and their patients. Throughout her Stanley Picker Fellowship, Oreet Ashery visited Dorich House Museum and was influenced by the house, Dora Gordine and her work. Gordine’s Guadeloupe Head (1926-8) features throughout Revisiting Genesis and the Museum was used as a location for two of the web episodes, most prominently in Episode 10: Dora, Amy, Genesis, which presents a fictional narrative between Genesis and Gordine, and also briefly features the sculpture Black Orchid (1956). The sculpture’s gold-coloured lips, eyelids and eyebrows were adopted by Ashery as a visual motif for the webseries and was installed at Stanley Picker Gallery as part of the artist’s Fellowship exhibition, as pictured above. Black Orchid is also featured on Art UK.

The original script of the episode Dora, Amy, Genesis is also published online as part of Dora: Dialogues on Women’s Creative Practice and Thinking. A collaboration between Dorich House Museum and research centres at Kingston School of Art, the publication aims to provide an intellectual space for framing and disseminating ideas, images and words that consider the breadth of women’s creative practice. Dora contributions are available for free download here.

This week’s activity suggestion responds to the newsletter’s theme of care; be it for ourselves, each other or our homes. Our Museum & Gallery Assistant Kyle Campbell-Pope has devised an activity based on his own ideas around self-care and the positive powers of portraiture; very fitting given Dora Gordine’s passion for painting, drawing and sculpting portraits! Click here for some of his guidance and tips on drawing, and try out your own portraits and cartoon strips of your daily life at home. Share your results on social media by tagging us Stanley Picker Gallery on Instagram @stanleypicker or Twitter @pickergallery or by sending your images to stanleypickergallery@kingston.ac.uk.


Kyle Campbell-Pope is an aspiring scriptwriter and 3rd year BA Fine Art student at Kingston School of Art. He is a Museum & Gallery Assistant at Dorich House Museum and Stanley Picker Gallery, as part of which he leads after-school Art Clubs at King Athelstan and St Luke’s Primary Schools in Kingston.

View this week’s newsletter online here and visit the Stanley Picker Gallery website to subscribe.