Fran Copeman, Folk discourse

10 Jan – 11 May 2024
Free and open to all
SPACE Ilford

Project SPACE
Meet the artist: Wed 31 Jan, 4.30 – 7.30pm

An exhibition that explores land access in Ilford through the broader lens of the right to roam. The display layers ideas around land use and how it is distributed amongst different communities.

In Britain there are more golf courses than the total area of public parks. The general public only has access to 8% of England’s green spaces*, and in Redbridge there is less than a metre squared of green space per person; over half of residents are more than 5 – 10 mins away from public green space.

In Redbridge there are two publicly-owned golf courses. The freehold is owned by the council, so paid for by the public. Even though they are publicly funded, the public does not have direct access to the green space and the section of the River Roding immediately next to Ilford town centre because it is privately leased to Ilford Golf Club.

In August 2023, Fran Copeman joined a group of Right to Roamers to peacefully trespass for public access to land on Ilford Golf Course. Using photography and drawings, Fran has created an exhibition of mixed media artworks which considers who has the right to access our natural spaces.

Fran Copeman (b.1985, London, UK) is a documentary artist who lives and works in London. Her expansive practice incorporates installation, drawing, print, sound and more. She explores the social and political intersections within specific communities in Britain in the context of land access, dance, protest and politics. Of particular importance are connecting themes such as expressions of freedom, human behaviour social control, commons culture, trespass, folk dance and ritualistic gatherings.

Fran was shortlisted for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2022. Recent exhibitions at Truman Brewery (2023), Southwark Park Gallery (2023), ArtHouse Jersey (2022), Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery (2022) and Trinity Buoy Wharf (2022).

*Although only about 8% of England is open access land (a particular classification of land on which the ‘right to roam’ exists), there are other types of land that do not count as open access land but that are accessible to the public.

Further reading