Be Creative Remain Resilient is artist Kay Abude‘s first presentation in the UK and the fourth annual Showroom Mural Commission. The commission is a unique project for artists to activate the building’s emblematic facade, and is indicative of The Showroom’s long-standing commitment to engaging community groups and individuals in our neighbourhood and beyond to work in collaboration with contemporary artists.
Be Creative Remain Resilient is a collaborative project devised by Kay Abude. In her practice Abude opens up a broad inquiry into the nature of work and labour, exploring the politics of making, the economics associated with artistic practice, and the difficulties and precarities associated with creative careers, specifically among migrant communities. Abude’s notions of labour are based on her own lived experience. The artist was born in the Philippines and relocated to Australia with her family. Her mother moved from white to blue-collar employment to work in an electrical factory, at home the family would sit together assembling test switches and exit signs to supplement the family income.
Be Creative Remain Resilient has encompassed a process of research, development and production by Kay in collaboration with a group of eight women with connections to The Showroom neighbourhood and further afield in London, leading to the making of this new iteration of The Showroom Mural Commission, which envelops the building’s facade from summer 2023 to summer 2024.
Be Creative Remain Resilient carries forward many of the concerns, commitments and questions raised within Abude’s earlier works in Australia, where she is based, which the artist has developed with many collaborators including her own family. Abude’s projects are exceptionally sociable. They are activated by the workers who engage with her, and often wear her textile artworks. Her lasting professional relationships developed through cooperative approaches to skill-sharing reflect a practice devoted to examining the economies of precarity both within and beyond the context of artistic production; and underscore the access that is intersectionally denied to communities by the prospect of low pay. With her collaborators, Abude produces impeccably manufactured performance garments that condense her skills in photography, silk screen printing and sculpture, supported by a conceptual and social impulse.
For more information, visit The Showroom