Sekai Machache: Svikiro (2023)
Sekai Machache’s exhibition Svikrio was a truly collaborative enterprise with dancers, singers, filmmakers, costume designers and artists coming together to create an immersive experience across several rooms at Mount Stuart. Each gestural film sees Sekai and her collaborators carving out space for Black voices, ideas and gestures in the rooms throughout Mount Stuart, reconsidering the past and present and offering new perspectives on a decolonised future.
Utilising academic, visual, and embodied research at Mount Stuart and in its collections and archives: Machache counters the ongoing erasure of a complex oracular culture that is profoundly connected to envisioning the future. The series of short films she produced at Mount Stuart support experimental and innovative storytelling through performances in dance and song by invited artists such as Alberta Whittle, Mele Broomes, and Eyve Madyise.
Svikiro in Shona culture means one who mediates between the spiritual and human world, receiving visions in dream, performs healing rituals and serves as messenger to the ancestors.
Exploring themes of hyper visibility and invisibility, erasure and existence, apparitions and traces, Machache succeeded in curating an emotive display that offered the audience glimpses of the diasporic experience of familial severing and habitual longing. The films utilise literary and symbolic references, in a stunning showcase of multidisciplinary skill and collective visioning that exemplifies Machache's work. At Mount Stuart these themes resonated with the spiritual enquiry of the Third Marquess of Bute and his embedding of religious, astrological, and mythological iconography in the architecture, decoration and fabric of the house.