I was commissioned to create an art piece in response to the Cuming Museum Collection for the Arts Council funded project ARTefacts.
The inspiration for Magic in Modern London came when Pamela Abad Vega was walking near her home, in Tarqui, in the south of Ecuador. She saw a beautiful flowering tree, native to South America, known as Angel’s Trumpet. Local people believe that its flowers can induce sleep and provide the sleeper safe passage into the world of their dreams. Abad Vega began a series of imaginary conversations with the English folklorist Edward Lovett, whose artefacts and writing she had encountered during an earlier visit to the Cuming Museum Collection in London.
For Elephant Atlas, Abad Vega has produced Magic in Modern London; a two-channel video work, inspired by Lovett’s own book, Magic in Modern London that was originally published in 1925. The film explores the logic behind the superstitious beliefs described by Lovett through an imagined conversation between the artist and Lovett.
Their imaginary conversation connects distant geographies and times; the superstitions of London’s past with the superstitions of a small community in the south of Ecuador, which are still very much alive and part of everyday life.
Fragment taken from Elephant Atlas: A Compendium
Magic in Modern London, 2018.