What is a Modern Place of Worship? Debate organised with Baroness Warsi Foundation, UCL 28th June 2018

What is a Modern Place of Worship? Debate organised with Baroness Warsi Foundation, UCL 28th June 2018

We hosted a debate at UCL organised with Baroness Warsi Foundation entitled ‘What is a Modern Place of Worship?’ on Thursday 28th June 2018 at 6pm.

At the event we will also be showcasing our Architectures of Shared Space exhibition undertaken in collaboration with Ealing school groups and Mangera Years Architects.

For more details and registration

All photos copyright by Laura Cuch


Ealing at the Tate: Making Sacred Space

Ealing at the Tate: Making Sacred Space

Friday 18th May 2018, 12 noon – 9pm

Tate Exchange, Blavatnik Building, Level 5, Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG

You are invited to join Making Suburban Faith for an exciting day and evening of workshops, installations and screenings exploring the creativity of everyday religion on Friday 18th May 2018. The event will take place at the Tate Modern as part of the Tate Exchange programme curated by Royal Holloway’s Centre for GeoHumanities.

Focusing on architectures, material cultures, rituals, music and performance, this day will involve collaborative co-production with artists, cultural geographers and local faith groups from Ealing, West London.

Drop into creative workshops and activities running in parallel throughout the day; join an architecture workshop designing a new religious building, contribute to embroidery in our Fabric of Faith installation, learn traditional Hindu flower garland making, design a kite for our kite festival, add a contribution to a book of recipes that evoke spiritual memories or learn to rap, sing and chant in our sacred music performance evening workshops. Please come along!

Activities open from 12 noon

5pm Fabric of Faith Book Launch and drinks reception

6pm Spiritual Flavours film screening

7pm Sacred Music Performance workshops with Mr K, St Thomas Hanwell Choir and Carnatic vocalists


Participating artists and organisations

Making Suburban Faith

Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities


Laura Cuch

Nazneen Ahmed

Liz Hingley

Katy Beinart

Mr K

Natalie Hyacinth

St Thomas Anglican Church









Making Textiles as practice-based research workshop: 20th September 2017

Dr. Claire Dwyer

Our second research workshop was held at UCL in September 2017 and was themed around our second participatory creative project ‘My Life is but a Weaving’ developed with project artist Katy Beinart. In planning the workshop we brought together other academics working on engaged arts practice with textiles, researchers working on community textiles and textile artists as well as colleagues interested in using creative methods to engage community.

My Life is but a Weaving Installation

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The West London Islamic Centre: Tracing the Making of an Islamic Space in Ealing

Text by Dr. Nazneen Ahmed
Photographs by Laura Cuch

West London Islamic Centre. Photograph: Laura Cuch

Between May and August this year, one of our key case studies, the West London Islamic Centre, held a series of farewell events to mark the impending demolition and redevelopment project. These included a “Communitea” for the broader Ealing community, the annual WLIC Family Fun Day, a final Friday prayers, and then, finally, a meal for worshippers with moving speeches broadcast throughout the mosque the night before it finally closed on Monday 7th August and demolition work began.

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My Life is but a Weaving: Exhibitions

Once the workshops finished in September 2016 Katy Beinart  worked on an installation of the textiles for exhibition. This exhibition drew together the pieces made by the participants during our seven workshops at St Thomas’ Church Hall and interviews conducted with each of the participants by the Making Suburban Faith researcher Dr Nazneen Ahmed which explored both their biography of faith and fabric and their reflections on being part of the textiles project.

In putting together the installation Katy sought to produce a piece which would both showcase the individual pieces and bring them together through one collective textile piece. The installation was also developed as a site specific piece which meant that it changed and adapted to each venue at which it was exhibited. The name for the piece came from one of the poems selected by one of the participants for her contribution, the anonymous poem ‘My life is but a weaving, between my Lord and me’.

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From Sacred Place to Outer Space: The Kneelers of Guildford Cathedral

By Will Barnes

About this time last year, my placement-based dissertation project at Guildford Cathedral began, and a year on, I could not have foreseen the impact it has had on my career trajectory, my University experience, the Cathedral community and myself personally. Initially, thoughts for the project centred on the Buy a Brick Campaign for the neo-gothic 20th century structure – the charitable community initiative that secured the building’s completion and its subsequent epithet ‘The People’s Cathedral’. However, following a meeting with key individuals of all things Guildford Cathedral, it became apparent that there was a strong community adoration for – and distinct lack of work on – the kneelers.

Guildford Cathedral. Photo: Will Barnes

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Natalie’s Cornell visit and Visiting Fellowship at City University, New York

In March 2017, Natalie Hyacinth was awarded funding by the Imaginaries of the Future Research Network to attend and present at the Utopia After the Human symposium at Cornell University, New York. The symposium took place from the 11th-12th April 2017 at Cornell’s College of Human Ecology. The symposium is the fifth of six symposia organised by the Imaginaries of the Future Leverhulme International Research Network based at Newcastle University. The network seeks to develop conceptual and political strategies for re-thinking the future and the diverse bodies that will inhabit it. Previous iterations of the symposia series are entitled; Utopia at the Border held in Regensburg, Germany and Utopian Bodies and the Media, held in Montréal, Canada.

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Shree Jalaram Mandir Greenford Holi Festival

Dr. Nazneen Ahmed

On Sunday we attended the Shree Jalaram Mandir Greenford’s Holi festivities, the Indian festival which celebrates the coming of Spring with the spectacular throwing of powdered, coloured pigments, music, dancing, and of course, food.

Dr. Nazneen Ahmed and Prof. David Gilbert at the Holi Festival. Photo: Laura Cuch

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Spiritual Flavours in Helsinki

Laura Cuch

On 1st February, I took a plane from London to Helsinki to take part in the opening week events of Festival of Political Photography 2017: Post-Food. The project Spiritual Flavours, which is part of my practice-led PhD, had been selected to be exhibited at STOA cultural centre, alongside Asunción Molinos Gordo’s Project, The Non-Egyptian’s Restaurant, from 4th February to 30th March.

Seconds before landing in Helsinki

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