SISTER OCTOPI: two artists on different continents collaborate on a unique  installation celebrating sisterhood. 

Sister Octopi is an immersive installation opening on International Women’s day at the Omnibus Theatre, in London.  The installation on view March 7th – 29th, is the result of a long-distance collaboration between two artists and cousins: Dubai-based Natalya Konforti and London resident Justine Formentelli. 

This long haul project began in 2017, following the suicides of a brother and cousin in  close succession. Devastated and searching for a way through grief, the cousins began an  artistic correspondence which eventually grew into the rich threads of an unusual family tapestry. 

Two artists united by art and family

Natalya Konforti is a French-American designer, artist and cultural facilitator with a degree in Fashion Design. A decade in the garment industry cultivated her response to colour palettes, a fascination with patterns as well as a deep appreciation for textile  craftsmanship. Her process-driven, introspective practice is grounded in what we leave behind; channeling themes of memory, community and sustainability. Through a variety of  mixed mediums including photography, paint and textile, her work pays homage to a  meaningful technique, material or location.  

Justine Formentelli is a French painter who spent her childhood living on the island of Reunion, the Caribbean and Morocco. She received an MA from City and Guilds of  London Art School and has participated in numerous exhibitions in the United States,  Europe and Dubai. Her bold gestures and layered elements form abstract compositions that possess vivid energy. Dancing between the world of painting and calligraphy, her  paintbrush balances the intersection between intention and chance. Her work has been  selected for the ING Prize 2022, Works on paper II at Blue Shop Cottage 2020 and is now  included in Soho House art collection.

 Sister Octopi, an artistic collaboration with deep meaning

The work explores themes of identity, belonging and adaptation, paying tribute to the  strength and resilience of sisterhood in the face of loss and tragedy. Separated by several  oceans and time zones, the two artists responded to each other’s work and emotions, panel after panel. The process brought solace, deepened their connection and contributed to strengthening other family ties. Inspired by the natural world, their experience of  expatriation and family heritage; this suspended universe is an invitation to wander along tentacular detours, immersed in a world of connections.

A traveling exhibition featured at multiple locations in Dubai including DIFC Art Nights and World Art Dubai, the upcoming show marks the first appearance of Sister Octopi in the UK. Taking cues from its eponymous octopus, the versatile work transforms and adapts to inhabit new environments, making each installation a unique experience. 

Justine and Natalya will also host a collaborative workshop on Saturday, March 11th from  11 to 1pm at the Omnibus Theater, Clapham Common Northside London SW4 0QW

Omnibus Theatre is a multi-award-winning independent theatre in Clapham, South  London. The heart of their ambitious programme, inspired by our building’s literary  heritage, lies in both classics re-imagined and contemporary storytelling. They provide a  platform for new writing and interdisciplinary work, aiming to give voice to the  underrepresented and challenge perceptions.  

Coinciding with the opening of Sister Octopi on the 7th of March, is the opening of SHE  presented by Theater Accord, an enthralling new play, inspired by The Seven Ages of Man  speech in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Charting the experiences of different women from  childhood to old age, these stories, each with an intriguing twist, are visceral, poignant,  and laced with humour.




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