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Moki Cherry: Here and Now
Institute of Contemporary Arts
A colourful dragon in tapestry, with colourful streamers hanging from its mouth
Moki Cherry, Title Unknown (Dragon), 1975, textile appliqué tapestry, 300 x 200 cm. Photograph: Anders Sune Berg, Galleri Nicolai Wallner

Exhibition guide
Large print guide
Sensory Map

Here and Now displays over 30 artworks and archival material of Swedish artist, designer and educator Moki Cherry (1943 – 2009) including works that have never been shown in the UK. The exhibition celebrates her exploration of where art and life meet, her collaborative and interdisciplinary practice, and her inventive resolve in the face of gendered challenges working both as an artist and mother – issues which remain pertinent to artists and audiences today.

Trained as a fashion designer, Moki was already embedded in the Stockholm cultural scene when she met the jazz musician Don Cherry in 1963. It begun their 20-year relationship and artistic collaboration which was formalised in 1967 as ‘Movement Incorporated’, later renamed ‘Organic Music’. A skilled pattern cutter, Moki created tapestries and costumes for their performances for which she is perhaps best known. Foregrounding Moki’s assertion of herself as an artist in her own right, the exhibition also features often overlooked aspects of her work such as a 16mm film she shot of her first solo exhibition in 1973 as well as sculpture, painting and writing which she practiced up into the 2000s.

Throughout her life, Moki sought to use her creativity to communicate with and inspire others. The exhibition’s accompanying event programme will provide a platform for contemporary practitioners to respond to the significant themes in Moki’s work: from music, experimentation, collaboration, audience engagement and pedagogy, to working while raising a family as a mother.

Listen to a talk from the programme:












From the Shop

This exhibition was made possible with Art Fund support.
Supported by The Swedish Embassy in London.
Moki Cherry (1943 – 2009) was a Swedish interdisciplinary artist and designer who worked in tapestry, fashion design, painting, music, collage, woodwork and ceramics. She worked with materials that have a relationship to functionality and themes relating to nature and spirituality. Moki envisioned her life and work as part of an aesthetic utopian vision of ‘home as stage, stage as home’, in which her artworks were experienced in the home, in music and theatre performances, and in art galleries. 

Recent solo exhibitions include Moki Cherry, Galleri Nicolai Wallner (2022), Copenhagen, Denmark; Organic Music Societies, Argos, Brussels, Belgium (2022); Moki Cherry: Communicate, How? Paintings and Tapestries, 1967 – 1980, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, USA (2021); and Organic Music Societies, Blank Forms, New York City, USA (2021). Her works are held in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmö, Sweden; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Muzeum Susch, Zernez, Switzerland.
 
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Wed 31 May – Sun 3 September 2023

Exhibition open 12 – 9pm, Tuesday to Sunday

Tickets £5, valid all day, free for ICA Members, some concessions & on Tuesdays.
Book online, by phone 020 7930 3647 or email sales@ica.art


Event Programme

Wed 30 Aug, 6:30pm
Moki: Home as stage, stage as home
In this panel, Moki Cherry’s extraordinary legacy as an artist and a parent is expanded upon by Moki’s family, Neneh Cherry and Tyson McVey with guest speakers artist Linder Sterling and author Hettie Judah.


Past Programme

Tue 30 May
Exhibition Preview
Opening night for the exhibition with DJ sets by Ain Bailey and Tessa Pollitt.


Thu 22 June
Upcycling textile workshop with Tenant of Culture
A workshop on upcycling locally donated textiles in the spirit of Moki Cherry’s improvisational practice.

Sat 1 July
Kahil El’Zabar conducts MOKI (Music / Opening / Kinetic / Improvisations)
The legendary improviser and master percussionist conducts a large ensemble of musicians committed to the art of collaborative improvisation.

Tue 11 July
Curators’ tour
Naima Karlsson, Moki’s granddaughter and co-curator of the exhibition leads a tour in dialogue with ICA Assistant Curator Nicola Leong.

Further events announced shortly. Sign up to the newsletter for updates.

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Moki in her New York loft. Courtesy: Robert Quailer
Moki Cherry, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, 1979, textile appliqué tapestry, 100 x 100 cm. Photograph: Cherry Archive, Estate of Moki Cherry
Moki Cherry, ‘Communicate, How?’, 1970, acrylic on board, 20.5 x 26 cm. Photograph: Tom Van Eynde, Corbett vs. Dempsey