23 APR - 20 MAY
OPENING 22 APR / 7pm

The Living Quality of Light, Time and Form, 2021 is a new 3 part animated film, and the first solo gallery presentation in the UK by British artist animator and film maker- Mary Martins.

Mary works with animation and moving image, using traditional animation practice to find new forms of representation through which to explore the world and her own lived experience.  She takes an experimental approach, overlaying animated sequences over analogue film footage she has shot.  Her use of abstract and gestural mark making mimics animation techniques from the 1950’s and results in playful and expressive collages of moving images and abstract forms that encourage fluid readings of her films.


Projected full screen in a dark grey gallery for striking visual affect The Living Quality of Light, Time and Form presents a  studied portrait of a capoeirista  - a capoeira    practitioner - performing carefully choreographed moves set to music with spoken word. In other sequences the performer plays a berimbau, a traditional single stringed instrument. 

This central subject of the performer is juxtaposed with abstract animated elements and film sequences that focus on the play of light and shadow.   Whilst the film is both an animated study of a performer and of a specific form of cultural expression, it is also a poetic ode to the spiritual dimension of capoeira, its origins and traditions.

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form and martial art that combines dance, music and acrobatics, using hands, feet and legs in expressive kicks, rocking steps, and flowing movements. It was developed by African slaves brought  to Brazil in the 16th century and incorporated dance and music in order to hide its fighting technique from the colonial gaze.  It has a strong spirtual dimension, being connected with the Afro-Brazillian religon of Candomblé. 

The martial art form (also referred to as dance, game or fight) was declared illegal in the 19th century but was gradually reintroduced in the 1920’s.  

Though the form has since gained worldwide recognition in multiple countries it is still strongly associated with an expressive form of cultural resistance and spiritual resilience that developed out of the context of the colonial slave trade.  


In making her work, Mary often applies an ethnographic lens to autobiographical subjects as a vehicle to explore specific places, cultural practices and alternative realities. Previous animated works have explored growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, or the views of family members on death and heaven.    Mary’s interest in Capoeria is in this history of resistance and its relationship to her own ancestorial roots.  


The Living Quality of Light, Time and Form is made using 16mm film footage recorded on 16mm B&W negative film, direct animation on 16mm film, scratch film on 16mm black leader and direct animation on 35mm film. These techniques  are used with double exposure and hand drawn elements to form  a film consisting of 3 parts that correspond to the title of the film:-  

Part 1
16mm black and white film, ink and nail polish on clear leader.
2 mins 22 secs

Part 2
Ink on 35mm film, 16mm black leader.
3 mins 42 sec

Part 3

16mm black and white film, ink on 35mm film, nail polish on clear leader.
5mins 10 sec


The Living Quality of Light, Time and Form was made collaboratively with the practitioners from the Grupo Muzenza, a long running community focused Capoeira group based in the London borough of Greenwich.  The group train in the Angola and Regional styles. The central figure of the performer is performed by Luiz Sousa, founder of Grupo Muzenza. 

The spoken poem was written by Mary Martins and then translated into Portuguese and recorded by a friend of the artist who is also a Capoeirista and based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The music is performed by Professor Saurê who plays ‘Sao bento pequeno, yina, Sao bento grande, Angola’ on the berimbau. The film was commissioned by TACO!


Mary  Martins is an artist film maker and animator living and working in  Thamesmead, London. She makes animated film and has screened her work nationally and Internationally. She studied philosophy at University of Birmingham, Animation and Moving image at University of East London, and documentary Animation at the Royal College of Art. Mary won the Mother Art Prize in 2016 shown at 198 Gallery, London, and in 2018 she was commissioned by the BFI and the BBC as part of the Animation 2018 programme, screened on BBC4 as part of a celebration of the best of British animation.



RTM.FM / 13 MAY / 20:00

SoPHIE MALLEt, Shamica Ruddock and Hannan Jones

Parasites control the host

Parasites are not grateful to the host

Parasites work together to kill the host

Take a tour of parasitic life with artist Sophie Mallett, featuring a remix of new sounds from Beats Kitchen (Shamica Ruddock and Hannan Jones). Be the Parasite You Want to See in the World  is a broadcast for radio on RTM.FM. A recording of the broadcast will be available here on the TACO! website shortly after.

Sophie Mallett uses video, text, installation and sound explore the intersection of affect, politics and value. Through close attention her work opens up spaces of discomfort that acknowledge clandestine societal norms, complicity, or dysfunctional ethics.

Informed by a previous career in documentary, sound and radio, her approach to artmaking is equal parts investigation and cherry-picked clickbait.   Educated at Open School East, London College of Communication and Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Mallett’s practice is both interdisciplinary and collaborative, with an emphasis on how individuals work together.

Sophie's research into parasitic economies is part of Jupiter Woods' R&D Grants 2021.

Recent works and projects include: Lol, sploot, blep, blop, bork - Deptford X, London (2019), Our Gelatinous Past Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam (2019), Thousands of us cluster together -Artnight, London (2019), The distance is nowhere - ICA, Miami (2019) and GAM - Palermo (2018), To whom it was given - Groundworks, Cornwall (2018); International Fellowship, Hangar/ Gasworks, Lisbon (2017);  National Anthems- ICA, London & CCA, Derry~Londonderry (2017).


Together, Hannan and Shamica share a basement studio space they came to know as ‘The Beats Kitchen NRG collective' A KA’ The Beats Kitchen’ based in Margate, Kent. The Beats Kitchen is fuelled by conversation, joy, and energised by rituals and friendship. It hosted curiosity and the passion for speculating through experimental sound, film, electronic and analog music equipment, archives and futurisms, sonic fictions, and world-building.

ComPression & The Song

Isabel Mallet 

29 MAY - 11 JULY
PV 28 May/ 6pm

A Dolomite Crystal emerges from a block of Marble almost two hundred years after the block became façade, and about four hundred and eighty million years after its metamorphosis during the formation of the Appalachian mountains.

Extracted from the Earth by bodies extracted from society by the State, the block is just one piece of a monument that slowly releases its saccharoidal edge into the world.

Toppled or being toppled. Bronze lumps like Ozymandias rolled into the sea only to be dredged out by city councils and others who hire conservators to polish graffiti and place relics in glass cabinets with lots of words for all to see.

Solidity is only aggregate held in place for a geological instant, and everything on Earth is permeable to a varying degree. We keep on making holes, filling holes, moving holes, but the ground is moving too. A rock slide, a run-down - a show by - atmospheric pressure, magnetic currents, lunar tides and churning magma.

Studying the new edges of old places using many voices, hands and feet. Taking up space and time by walking together, often sitting down and listening. These flesh-pressed edges are amalgamated with others looked at on screens to make these transparent cuboid sections that are not entirely fiction, not all fact.


Compression & the song is an exhibition of new work by artist Isabel Mallet. Mallet makes sculptural works that are considered through a dialogue with specific environments, taking as her starting point what is already there and present, recycling objects, materials and working with architectural elements.

Isabel Mallet grew up in London and lives and works in New York. She received a BA in 2012 from Slade School (London) and an MFA from Bard College (New York). She often works collaboratively and has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at venues such as Zona Mista in London, INOX in Copenhagen and Roger’s Office in Los Angeles. She runs the online magazine FORM IV, an ongoing archive of the “anarchic combat style of NOW”. Compression & the song is Mallet’s first solo gallery exhibition in the UK.

29 May / RTM.FM

taco! presents a day of specially commissioned artworks made for online radio broadcast on RTM.FM as part of the Estuary Festival 2021. Commissioned artists include Anne Hardy, Belinda Zhawi, Benedict Drew, Natasha Bird, Raju Rage, and Time is Away.

This day long schedule of broadcasts includes contribitions from RTM residents and other artists. Further details to be annouced, please check the TACO! or RTM website. 

The Estuary Festival is regional wide festival taking place across parts of London, Essex and Kent. 


Anne Hardy has exhibited in the UK and internationally with recent new works / solo exhibitions at Tate Britain – ‘The Depth of Darkness, the Return of the Light’(2019/20), ‘The Weather Garden, Anne Hardy curates the Arts Council Collection’,Towner Art Gallery (2019), and group exhibitions at Marta Herford, The Hayward Gallery London, New Art Gallery Walsall, V&A Museum, Barbican Art Gallery. Her work is held in major public collections including Tate, V&A Museum, Arts Council Collection, Leeds Art Gallery.

Belinda Zhawi is a Zimbabwean literary & sound artist. She is the author of Small Inheritances (ignitionpress, 2018), co-founder of literary arts platform BORN::FREE & experiments with sound as MA.MOYO. Belinda’s work has been broadcast & published on various platforms including The White Review, NTS Live, Boiler Room & BBC Radio 3, 4 & 6. She lives and works in London.

Benedict Drew lives and works in Whitstable and Margate, UK. He works across video, sculpture, music and their associated technologies. He creates large-scale installations, often concerned with ecstatic responses to socio-political anxiety. Solo exhibitions include Trapped In A Sticky Shed With Side Chain Compression, iMT Gallery, London; The Trickle-Down Syndrome, Whitechapel Gallery, London; KAPUT, QUAD Gallery, Derby; Walker Gallery, Liverpool; The Anti Ecstatic Machines and Heads May Roll, Matt’s Gallery, London.

Raju Rage is proactive about using art, education and activism to forge creative survival. Based in London and working beyond, they explore the spaces and relationships between dis/connected bodies, theory and practice, text and the body and aesthetics and the political substance. Their current interests are around sustainability, economies, care, and resistance. They are a member of Collective Creativity arts collective and are a creative educator and with an interest in radical pedagogy.

Natasha Bird is an artist, producer and educator.
Past exhibitions include Earth Eaters curated by Cole Projects, Moloko Plus Six at Thamesmead Texas, London and Testbed Alice at The Old Waterworks, Southend. Natasha has participated in residencies at Cultureland (NL), Catalyst Arts at the Curfew Tower (NI) and the Trelex Residency (Switzerland).  

Time is Away (London-based duo Jack Rollo and Elaine Tierney) work across radio, research and site-specific sound-works. Over seven years as residents on NTS Radio, they have combined spoken word, field recordings and music as part of an ongoing reflection on the relationship between time, place and power. Recent commissions include the Arts Council England-funded solo exhibition ‘Fable of the Bees’ (Black Tower Projects, UK, 2020), ‘Prospect Cottage 1989–90’ (La Becque, Switzerland, 2020) and ‘Countercultural Bohemia as Prefiguration’ (Repeater Books / ICA, UK, 2021).



Image:  A Tuning, 2020, Benedict Drew, HD film 23mins

Natasha Bird

13 JUNE  / 10:30 - 16:00

13 JUNE onwards

Dredge, Flow, Filter! is a hands-on family workshop combining material experimentation and printmaking. Explore how different inks can be sucked through paper, and dredge up found objects to make an artwork.

45 minute sessions in family bubbles. Part of the Crossness Open Day.

Tickets for the open day must be booked in advance - Adults £15, Children 5-15 yrs £3. The family activity (free when you purchase an open day ticket) can be reserved at the welcome desk on the day. 

To book please visit the Crossness Website


This workshop forms part of Outfall, an ongoing research project by artist Natasha Bird, commissioned by TACO! in partnership with the heritage site of Crossness. The project considers production and waste and ideas of flow and stagnation, as starting points for exploring the city as both a body and ecosystem.

Natasha has been working on site at Crossness and with archival material both from Crossness and elsewhere, developing sculptural and discursive responses. Her research is presented at Crossness in the form of a sited ‘sculptural reading display’. Further information and collections of materials are also accessible via the Outfall website.

To book please visit the Crossness Website


Natasha Bird is an artist, producer and educator. Past exhibitions include Earth Eaters curated by Cole Projects, Moloko Plus Six at Thamesmead Texas, London and Testbed Alice at The Old Waterworks, Southend. Natasha has participated in residencies at Cultureland (NL), Catalyst Arts at the Curfew Tower (NI) and the Trelex Residency (Switzerland).  Alongside her studio practice, Natasha leads workshops with children and young people at schools and galleries including South London Gallery and Milton Keynes Gallery. These workshops in sculpture, object making, installation and animation often involve collaborative building of structures that can be inhabited, transformed or activated by the maker and viewer.


Completed in 1865, Crossness Pumping Station is a magnificent Grade 1 Listed industrial heritage site and unique visitor attraction. It was built by Sir Joseph Bazalgette as part of the first, city-wide sewage system for Victorian London and harnessed the power of the tidal Thames to transport waste along the estuary and out to sea. Crossness was built in response to increasing cases of Cholera and other water bourne diseases and is celebrated for its engineering  achievement. This massive structural project was driven not just by human bodily functions and needs, but also by tiny bacteria shaping human society, and the city. 

Image courtesy of the artist

30 Poplar Place
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