Finlay Room, RSA Lower Galleries | Free entry
Andrea Baker | Rhys Hollis | Divine Tasinda | Kheanna Walker
This September the Royal Scottish Academy will mount an exhibition of a new moving image project that pays homage to Scotland’s untold Black history and celebrates Black excellence and LGBTQ performance in Scotland.
OMOS is inspired by the connections between Puck’s Glen (named after Shakespeare’s mischievous fairy), Stirling Castle and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, alongside an untold Black history related to historical performance given to King James VI of Scotland. At Stirling Castle in 1594, a lion was going to feature in a performance but plans were changed due to fear of the lion. This lion is possibly referenced in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The lesser known story is that the lion was replaced by an unnamed Black man, who pulled a chariot through the castle’s Great Hall: one of a number of Black people who appeared in performances at the Scottish court.
Following the opening, a number of events and workshops will run alongside the exhibition across Edinburgh. Click here for more information.
The name OMOS originally was an acronym for the phrase ‘O monstrous! O strange!’, a quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As the project developed, this phrase has been morphed to stand for ‘Our Movement, Our Stories’. The film has an ambiguous title of solely ‘OMOS’.
The exhibition features a 20-minute moving image work, shown on loop. Created by a group of award-winning performers, OMOS features each artist occupying space as they draw on the past and look to the future.
Cabaret performer Rhys Hollis (also known as Rhys’s Pieces) leads an outstanding group of collaborators including: opera singer Andrea Baker, dancer Divine Tasinda, and pole artist Kheanna Walker. Each artist has used their unique perspective to create a solo performance for the artwork.
OMOS is produced by Pollyanna and funded by Creative Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund and City of Edinburgh Council.