East London Art Prize x Whitechapel Gallery

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    Thank you for loving me – Cora Sehgal Cuthbert (2022)

Past Event

This event was on Thursday 3 August, 6-10pm

Access Information

East London Art Prize x Whitechapel Gallery

Thursday 3 Aug | 6-10pm | Free

No booking required, click here for optional registration

Get to know the inaugural East London Art Prize shortlist of local artists as they take over the Whitechapel Gallery in an after-hours programme. Featuring live performances from Lulu Wang and xiaoyu1002, workshops by Alaa Alsaraji, Woo Jin Joo and Cora Sehgal Cuthbert, films by Kat Anderson and Ufuoma Essi, talks from David Aston, Lulu Bennet and Sophie Cunningham, an installation by Damien Cifelli, plus DJ mixes playing from xiaoyu1002, Nexcyia and Nanzhen Yang.

Please note: our spaces have limited capacities – we recommend arriving early to avoid disappointment.

In partnership with Bow Arts as part of their East London Art Prize events programme.

Programme Schedule

Gallery 2: Talks and Performances

18:00 Talk: David Aston & Anders Sandberg
Join artist David Aston and researcher at the Future of Humanity Institute Anders Sandberg in conversation on the intersection of art and artificial intelligence (AI), as they speculate what the future might hold as we navigate an increasingly technological and data-driven world. They will speak to the Future of Humanity Institute’s academic research into future technologies and their Future Progress report, teasing apart how they connect with David’s AI inspired artistic practice and helped inform the genesis of his shortlisted work, Oracle.

19:00 Talk: Lulu Bennett & Eloise Hendy
Come and listen to artist Lulu Bennett in dialogue with writer and culture journalist Eloise Hendy, as they sift through the changes and transformations that Lulu’s work has taken in recent years, particularly in relation to her most recent solo show. Lulu and Eloise will speak to their shared experience of creativity and how this manifests through messages of self-preservation, and resistance in Lulu’s own practice.

20:00 Performance: xiaoyu1002
Secret Symbiosis, Soft Submission is an audio-visual performance with installation that whispers about unspeakable East Asian queer trauma. We are absurd subjects, not being executed, but shrouded in a transparent net and never seeing the light of day. All we can do is stretch out our tentacles, try to hug everyone who passes by, and make our own sound to protest softly.

20:40 Talk: Sophie Cunningham & Francesco Mazzarella
Join artist Sophie Cunningham in conversation with Senior Lecturer in Fashion and Design for Social Change at London College of Fashion (UAL) Dr Francesco Mazzarella as they delve into the complexities of supply chain transparency and the disposable mindset perpetuated by fast fashion brands. Taking Sophie’s shortlisted film Papier-mâché Boots and its interrogation of the detrimental practices of fast-fashion brands, dominated by low costs, fast trends and carefully orchestrated return policies as their starting point, together they will explore our capacity to act and discuss more caring and conscious approaches to fashion and clothing. 

21:45 Performance: Lulu Wang
Lulu X is a new performance character from Wang’s latest project Prototype. This imagined character is an anthropomorphic vessel – an entity with the power to embody the connection between human emotions and futuristic fantasies, through a deep entanglement of sound, movement and visual art.

Bringing together more traditional performance practice with new technologies, by using a newly created sensor system and sound coding, the artist will create a live soundscape of a melody created by Lulu X that articulates a story of self-seeking and discovery through movement, choreography, and music.

Zilkha Auditorium: Films

6-10pm Screenings: Ufuoma Essi and Kat Anderson

Ufuoma Essi – From Where We Land (18 mins 52 secs)
From Where We Land examines a group of second-generation Black British women and their relationship with identity, feelings of cultural displacement, and their shared histories. Informed by contributions of the 1980s Black feminist movement in England and the legacies of first-generation children of African and Caribbean immigrants, the film incorporates archive, VHS and 16mm footage.

Kat Anderson – Bad Man Nuh Flee (42 min)
A collection of audio/visual notes on oppression, Black liberation and the white imagination. Bad Man Nuh Flee was commissioned by Transmissions TV, Chisenhale, Somerset House and Wysing Arts Centre

Gallery 3: Sound Installation

6-9pm Sound Installation: Damien Cifelli
There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You of)

We can’t help but imagine other worlds – whether through natural curiosity or a search for an alternative way of living, and by virtue of searching for an alternative, we critique the present.

Cifelli’s audio work imagines several travellers encountering the unknown land of Tarogramma. Consisting of field recordings and often contradictory testimonies, it explores how much of a place exists solely in the interpretation of the visitor.

The flags represent both physical places and ideas. We use flags as statements of allegiance to a place, but also for sports teams, religions, gender identity or political parties. If the place we are in does not work for us, we search for a new home. Flags, then, symbolise both tribalism and community and are often a foundation that, for better or worse, we form an identity around. The tent represents the new home we build in these places.

Creative Studio: Workshop (drop-in) [CANCELLED]

6-8pm Drop-in Workshop: Alaa Alsaraji
Lino Printing: Mapping our sanctuaries and safe havens


What does ‘sanctuary’ mean to you? Where are the places that you feel safe? Drawing upon the themes of belonging, community, and finding home that ground Alaa’s artistic practice, in this practical hands-on workshop you will pay tribute to the spaces and places where you feel seen and held.

By riffing off pre-cut lino designs and patterns or carving out your own designs using foam board, you will visually map out you own sanctuaries and safe havens, before bringing them to life in coloured ink and print.

No experience required and all materials provided.

Study Studio: Workshop (drop-in)

7-9pm Drop-in Workshop: Cora Sehgal Cuthbert
Make a Self-Love Care Pack

Multi-disciplinary artist Cora Sehgal Cuthbert invites you to join her for a cosy, intimate workshop where we will create our own personalised self-love packs to interrogate what deep love and affection mean to us personally.

Using the themes of love and loss that are intrinsic to Cora’s artistic practice as a starting point, we will decorate our self-love packs, before writing affirmations and making badges that speak to our own relationships with ideas of love, care, and finding home within ourselves.

Tea and snacks will be served during this session.
No experience necessary and all materials are provided.

Reading Room: Workshop (drop-in)

7.30-9.30pm Drop-in Workshop: Woo Jin Joo
Collective Embroidery: Stitching East Asian Mythologies

Nodding to the legacies of traditional East Asian folklore, mysticism, and mythology that inform her artistic practice, join mixed-media artist Woo Jin Joo in this collective embroidery workshop, as we conjure and dream up our own mythical landscapes and ecologies.

After being guided through some simple embroidery stitches, you will use a range of fun materials to design, stitch, and create your own mythical creatures to build out a vivid, imagined world together – an entanglement of the different stories and tales that are carried and passed down to us.

No experience necessary and all materials are provided.

Foyer: DJ Mixes

 – If we never met, wish u all the best

 – rebirth is necessary

Nanzhen Yang
 – <The Q&A for the travel> 

About the Artists

Alaa Alsaraji

Alaa is a visual artist, and creative facilitator. Through her creative practice she aims to explore themes of belonging, reimagining space and community, predominantly using the medium of digital illustration. Alaa is also the arts editor of Khidr Collective, a multidisciplinary artist collective creating platforms and spaces for young Muslim creatives through the annual Khidr Zine and online platform.

Lulu Bennett

Lulu Bennett graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2017 and Slade School of Fine Art in 2021. Her practice explores gender, history and politics through figurative paintings that draw on archival, found imagery and, increasingly, the artist’s own photography. Solo exhibitions include Alive in Actual Time, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2023), Period Drama, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Berlin (2022) and Tears Like Northern Rain, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2020). Recent group exhibitions include Jupiter Walk, Sherbet Green, London (2023), East London Art Prize 2022, Nunnery Gallery, London (2023), Untitled Miami Beach, Art Fair, Miami, USA (2022), Northern Deviants, Unit 3 Projects, London (2022).

Damien Cifelli

Damien Cifelli is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist from Edinburgh, now based in London. His work explores a fictitious land named Tarogramma.

Inspired by personal histories, the creativity of the diaspora, ancestral stories and recent collective experiences, he has built a detailed culture with its own aesthetic, way of living, and understanding of the world; one that is at once alien, and eerily similar to our own.

Sophie Cunningham

London-based artist Sophie Cunningham creates sculptures as a critical exploration into the irrational psychology behind the expediency and disposability of Western shopping habits. Cunningham is the winner of the Gilbert Bayes Award from the Royal Society of Sculptors (2023) and was shortlisted for the East London Art Prize at Bow Arts (2023). She was also invited to speak as a Guest Speaker for ‘Live Conversations: Designed to Make a Difference’ at the V&A (2021). Recent exhibitions include group show Baggage Claim at Staffordshire Street Gallery (2023) and solo show Systems at the Seams at The Stone Space (2023).

Cora Sehgal Cuthbert

Cora Sehgal Cuthbert is a multidisciplinary artist based in London. Her work explores the intersections between the personal, the cultural, and a universal spirituality/humanity. Through this, Cora aims to expand her own and the audience’s worldview, to encourage the sharing of stories, and to encourage the recognition of the beauty and love within our own everyday lives. Specific themes Cora has recently explored include ideas of home, immigration, faith, grief, desire and disability.

Ufuoma Essi

Ufuoma Essi Is a video artist and filmmaker from Lewisham, South East London. She works predominantly with film and moving image as well as photography and sound.

Her work revolves around Black feminist epistemology and the configuration of displaced histories. The archive forms an essential medium for her as an artist and it’s through explorations with the archive that she aims to interrogate and disrupt the silences and gaps of political and historical narratives. By using the archive as a process of unlearning and discovery she seeks to re-centre the marginalised histories of the Black Atlantic and specific histories of Black women. Drawing from a range of influences including Black popular culture, films, music, historical texts and Black feminist theory from writers such as Claudia Jones to Daphne Brooks. Essi’s work also seeks to examine the historical and contemporary links between the Black Atlantic and explores intersectional themes.

Woo Jin Joo

Woo Jin is a mixed-media artist specialising in soft sculpture. Taking cues from traditional East Asian folklore, mythology and philosophy, Woo Jin explores ways of re-enchanting stories around the everyday and mundane. Mediating on the value humans endow objects in our current materialist and consumerist society, Woo Jin playfully postulates a new way of living, being and learning from objects – one that is more caring and lasting. In her work, she subverts the more traditional, gently-spoken character of soft sculpture and textile, instead using them as conduits and means of engaging in the discourse around climate justice, capitalism, and more generative ways of living.

Lulu Wang

Lulu Wang (she/her) is a London-based Chinese interdisciplinary artist. Through visual work and performance-making, her practice explores the body as a vessel and a shifting space that forms the shape of human identity.

By incorporating AI technology, dance and posthumanism narratives, her practice uses abstract visual language and character to translate the symbiotic connections between emotional worlds and their physical embodiment – reflecting the reality of imperfection inside humanity and its nature and fantasies of its existence in the multiverse.


Xinyao Yu, also known as xiaoyu1002, is a Chinese artist who self-identifies as Wu Gui to grapple with issues around queerness and East Asian identity. They create whimsical and tender bubbles to counter daily, overwhelming absurdities around gender, identity, alienation and contemporary culture, whilst sending moist hugs.

Kat Anderson

Kat Anderson is a visual artist and musician, working under an artistic and research framework called ‘Episodes of Horror’, which uses the genre of horror to discuss representations of mental illness and trauma as experienced by or projected upon Black bodies in media and society.

Anderson was the winner of Bow Arts’ inaugural East London Art Prize (2023). Her work has been presented with Serendipity, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Transmissions TV, Block 336 and KW, Berlin. In 2019, she was awarded a Jerwood New Work Fund. In 2022, she was longlisted for Aesthetica Art Prize. Her work has also been acquired by Wellcome Collection.

David Aston

David Aston is a British artist who’s mixed-media practice lies at the intersection of art, anthropology and technology. Examining society through a diachronic lens, he raises questions about our collective humanity at a time of accelerated change. His multimedia works observe our transition to an age where we need to attest our humanity to machines, proclaim our rights to data, question our cultural legacy through acts of digital archaeology, and experiment with AI futurist possibilities, predictions and gamification.

About the Contributors

Eloise Hendy

Eloise Hendy is a writer and culture journalist based in London. She writes regularly for The Independent’s Culture & Lifestyle section, and has also had features published by Art Review, Dazed, Frieze, The Face, Time Out, Elephant Magazine, and Plinth, amongst others. She was shortlisted for the White Review Poet’s Prize in 2018, and her debut pamphlet ‘the blue room’ was published by Makina Books in January 2020. She is represented by Kat Aitken at United Agents.

Anders Sandberg

Dr. Anders Sandberg is senior research fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) at the University of Oxford. His research at the FHI centers on management of low-probability high-impact risks, societal and ethical issues surrounding human enhancement, estimating the capabilities of future technologies, and very long-range futures. He is a fellow for Ethics and Values at Reuben College, Oxford.

Dr Francesco Mazzarella

Dr Francesco Mazzarella is a design researcher, educator, and activist, striving to plant seeds of hope and change, especially working with marginalised communities. He is Senior Lecturer in Fashion and Design for Social Change, teaching in a number of courses across London College of Fashion, UAL, especially on the MA Fashion Futures. Francesco works at Centre for Sustainable Fashion, exploring ways in which design activism can be used to create counter-narratives towards sustainability, in and through fashion. His research spans the fields of fashion sustainability, design activism, decolonising design, textile craftsmanship, social innovation, and place-making. Francesco is currently the Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded ‘Decolonising Fashion and Textiles’ research project, on project ‘ReGo’, and the ‘Fashion Values’ knowledge exchange project. Previously, Francesco was AHRC Design Leadership Fellow Research Associate at Imagination, Lancaster University, supporting design research for change. Francesco was awarded a PhD from Loughborough Design School, funded by the Arts and Humanities Design Star centre for doctoral training. His doctoral research project explored how service design can be used to activate textile artisan communities to transition towards a sustainable future.


Nexcyia is an American sound artist and experimental ambient musician based between London and ParisHis compositions combine immersive sound design and swooping soundscapes with samples that bridge many moods, emotions and places through noise, granular synthesis, textures, and rhythms. His work explores themes of otherness, alienation, and belonging by mangling and layering archival audio from home videos, bending pads, and manipulating voices with the attempt to create ever-evolving work. 
Nexcyia has played in various venues/festivals across the UK and Europe such as Barbican Centre, Institute of Contemporary Art, Cafe OTO, Chisenhale Gallery, Primavera Sound, and has been featured in FACT Magazine and Wire Magazine. Nexcyia has performed with the likes of Caterina Barbieri, Kali Malone and Ulla and has released “Crawl” on Alien Jams and “Origin” on Cafe OTO’s in-house label Takuroku  

Nanzhen Yang

Nanzhen Yang is an Interdisciplinary artist and DJ based in London. Her art practice is not limited by media, weaves together sound, videos, CGI and A/V live performances. For her sound practice, her narrative-led mixes and lives, toys between the cinematic and the emotional, also skipping past genre boundaries to create her sonic adventure. Intertwined with her fine art graduate background, she makes full use of her animism-based mind in her music journey.