Join Demi Nandhra for an afternoon of one-on-one micro-performances of Oil and Water in the Industrial Gallery. No booking required.

Oil and Water is a performance about women, mental illness and religion; the beauty and absurdity of faith in the face of an illness. What happens when we suspend our disbelief?

Demi takes antidepressants and her ‘Mummy-Jee’ drinks holy water. Both laugh at the others choice, but after 20 years of laughing Demi has started to wonder, what will happen if she takes a leap beyond the construct of language to see what faith can be? All in the hope of driving the sadness out.

Studies suggest that regular religious services can improve the immune system, decrease blood pressure and add years to ours lives. For as long as man has been called man, religious faith and belief has had the ability to make us feel inexplicably better. Belief-based healing requires two things, a good story and the effort of an active listener. Are we ready to listen? Do we have the ability to make the imagined feel real? Can god heal the sadness or is it just a placebo and does that even matter?

This research considers the distance between Eastern and Western Philosophies; that the concept of health is a matter of overcoming illness, of destroying pathology. Oil and Water asks you to consider weighing both rational thought and irrational thought in equal measure. You’re invited to witness this ritual act. A ceremony, filled with scepticism and an artist full of hope.

Oil and Water is produced by Toni Lewis and will be peformed at BMAG as part of ongoing programme of events 'Finding Faith' curated by Suriya Aisha, this performance will feature ceramic vessels made by artist Zed Lightheart.

Hear about Zed Lightheart and Demi Nandhra's collaboration in their Artist Talk, taking place at 1pm in our Faith Gallery on the same day.

About Demi Nandhra

I make work for liberation; for myself and others to feel at home in our body in any context.

Demi Nandhra is an interdisciplinary artist from Birmingham who makes solo performance, live art, theatre and sociopolitical enquiries. Her work explores Mental Health through examining collective sadness, vulnerability and cultural binaries. Her work is performed in theatres, galleries and beds.

About Zed Lightheart

As a maker of ceramics that have the potential to last for thousands of years, I am acutely aware of my responsibility to only produce work that adds to the beauty of the world. I am strict about what I make and only create work that I am proud to think will have such a lifespan.To make ceramics, I have to explore, and negotiate with, the five elements; earth, water, metal, air and fire. I aim to be careful with the resources I use, and respectful of the materials involved in making my work.

About Toni Lewis

Toni Lewis is an artist based in Birmingham. Toni’s artistic practice is inter/multidisciplinary, spanning theatre, film, performance, installation and audio/visual. She examines nature, race/cultural and identity politics and the lived experience. Toni seeks to make work that is evocative, transgressive and accessible.

Find more about Oil and Water here.