Part of Explore Thamesmead, taking place on Sat 29 and Sun 30 May.
Marcus Orlandi is an artist and writer based in Thamesmead, South East London. His practice is heavily influenced by a mix of high and low brow cultures that range from the Theatre of the Absurd to professional wrestling. He explores these themes in playful performances, sculpture, drawing, playwriting and curatorial projects.
He has worked with arts organisations throughout the UK including Camden Arts Centre, artsadmin, Royal Standard Liverpool, Camden People's Theatre, ARTLICKS and Oval House Theatre, and has written plays for stage and radio.
He has had banner and text based installations commissioned by artsdepot, Bow Arts, Ty Pawb and Barking and Dagenham Council and has devised workshop projects for local people in Thamesmead and at Leicester Prison.
He graduated from Middlesex University with a First Class BA in Fine Art and was a recipient of the Kingsgate Emerging Artist Award.
For Estuary 2021, he will create We’ve Got Hope a new site specific artwork to be installed outside the newly refurbished Lakeside Centre in Thamesmead, South London. The installation is a large scale, handmade, text based fabric banner inspired by an infamous ‘Great Uprising’ of 1381.
Hailed as an architectural triumph worldwide, Thamesmead was not without it’s flaws. During the 1970’s local residents were growing increasingly tired and frustrated with the level of damp and mould accumulating in their newly built flats so a committee was set up to tackle the problem after little help from the council. Red and white posters were made for each resident to display in their windows that simply said ‘We’ve Got Damp’. This successful campaign highlighted the problem to the local area and eventually forced the council to take action over it’s housing stock and infrastructure.
Nearly 50 years later, the banner ‘We’ve Got Hope’ will be installed on the flagpole at Southmere Lake and look back at the very flats that inspired it. This artwork not only references the local history of Thamesmead but aims to be a bold new manifesto for the area by looking to a better future, particularly during such difficult times, and to cement the vision of Thamesmead as the ‘Town of Tomorrow’.
To accompany the installation, posters of the banner will be available for visitors to take home, colour in, and display in their windows in homage to the original campaign.
Image credit: Ctrl, Alt, Del was commissioned by Bow Arts in conjunction with their East London Group exhibition and specifically references the painter Albert Turpin’s anti-fascist campaigning around East London. This banner was made in response to the rise of the alt-right across Europe and, in particular, against Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric in response to the attacks in Charlottesville.