Courtesy: Milica Cekerevac.

Ben Judd

The Origin

1 June - 12 July 2020

Stanley Picker Fellow Ben Judd is collaborating with local residents, community groups, students and academics to create an adaptable floating structure which will travel along the River Thames. The work will consider the importance of community within a large city and facilitate meaningful exchanges between strangers, aiming to reconnect people both to each other and to their environment.

Prior to the physical version, an online version will run for six weeks throughout June and July on these pages.

Britain’s island status, both literal and metaphorical, has always been at the heart of its identity; this work will mirror those concerns by creating a miniature floating community that will act as a microcosm for the ways in which we co-habit, communicate and solve problems. A temporary community, an experiment in living, is exciting and relevant because it embraces the propositional; the ‘what if’ – it can be seen as a rehearsal for an alternative future.

The idea of a classless, stateless, humane society based on common ownership feels particularly poignant within the current climate. This work aims to reconsider ideas of hope, love, solidarity, care and support. The community’s values will therefore be centred around these core themes and will aim to define and explore them throughout the project.

Participants will be invited to engage with a real, live, porous community and contribute to its development. Participants will have a dedicated week in which to develop specific aspects of the community, such as costume, narrative, movement, music, engagement with the local environment, and use of the boat.


Each week will be dedicated to a specific subject area at Kingston University and a local community group. Both groups will use the online space to develop a particular aspect of the project’s community, identity and legacy. This will be done by uploading content onto these pages, developing a dialogue and collaboration between the two groups. You can also follow the activities at #TheOriginKingston on Instagram & Twitter.

Week 1 (1 – 7 June) Fashion & The Gate

Week 2 (8 – 14 June) Creative Writing & The Bradbury

Week 3 (15 – 21 June) Dance & The Grange

Week 4 (22 – 28 June) Music & Refugee Action Kingston

Week 5 (29 – 5 July) Sustainable Design & Mill St Residents’ Association

Week 6 (6 – 11 July) Interior Design & Canbury and Riverside Association (CARA)

Ben Judd

Ben Judd is based in London. His work examines collectivity and participation through performance, moving image and installation, enabling different forms of communities to be explored in relation to site and context. He often works with collaborators as a method to develop self-reflexive folk histories and construct temporary communities. Judd has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, recently including ICA, Art Night London, Whitstable Biennale and Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool.

MSc Project Management for Creative Practitioners

Collaborating with Ben Judd is a team of four students from the postgraduate course MSc Project Management for Creative Practitioners at Kingston School of Art. They are project managing the initial online phase of The Origin; each student using their strengths to manage unique elements of the project:  Sofia Torres – Social Media, Ching-Fang Wu – Online Content, Oshan Fenlon-Wilson – Events and Charlotte Addy – Project Integration.