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Traces of the Earth / Intimate Xenolith

21st April 2022

Three visual artists Pauline Bailey, Joyce Treasure and Ola Brown have been involved in a collaborative artist residency to explore the Lapworth Museum's collection of fossils, rocks and minerals. 

They responded to specific items or themes in Lapworth's vast collection, and this exhibition shares installations the three artists have made in response to their brief explorations. This pilot is produced and curated in partnership between the Black Arts Forum and the Lapworth Museum of Geology.

Exhibition dates
1 April - 31 August 2022

Lapworth Museum of Geology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Skeleton leaves, wool, synthetic hair, mycelium packaging, text, sugar starch and cowrie shells.
67cm height
34cm width
17cm depth


Can we study the success of natural science, like a planetary oracle, to grasp how social science can proceed? Intimate Xenolith is a soundscape installation piece combining mythology, ritual, and geology to form a speculative ancestral narrative around healing.

Artists Statement

As part of my art practice is interested in trauma, care and well being, the story surrounding Lapworth's mental health issues regarding the 'geological blunder' caught my attention. The 'geological blunder' was a controversial geological disagreement that created an atmosphere of distrust and resistance between academics, government and amateurs regarding innovative ideas. The 'geological blunder' controversy, alongside a previous work I made in 2016 titled Mantle, led to me engaging with the rock peridotite and its dynamic with the earth as an experimental starting point.

Intimate Xenolith written by Joyce Treasure orated by RED MEDUSA. 

RED MEDUSA is an established spoken word artist and scholar who combines her learnings from her experiences as a Black, neurodiverse, educated, working-class woman and mother with her academic knowledge of health and social inequalities to deliver moving, visceral and disruptive poetry. Grounded in Black feminist theory, her exciting works have led to headlines at the famous Southbank Centre in London, the infamous She Grrrowls Festival, The Million Woman Rise March and published in Vogue and Forbes Magazines.


IG: red.medusa

Joyce Treasure
Multidisciplinary Artist
All Rights Reserved
Joyce Treasure © 2020