Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2021 (22 September 2021 - 2 January 2021)

This week, The Royal Academy opens its doors to the Summer Exhibition which is entitled Re-claiming Magic. It's co-ordinator Yinka Shonibare RA writes that the exhibition celebrates the transformative powers of the magical in art and a return to the ritualistic.

Included in the show is a new work entitled Lifting The Curse, which has been created in direct response to the curse that artists Gilbert and George issued to the Royal Academy and its members earlier this year. The artist duo, the first to be elected to the Royal Academy in 2017, resigned last year after plans to show their work were reportedly turned down. Stating, We herewith return our medals and certificates…We curse the Royal Academy and all its members. Whether these are flippant words or targeted toxic energy, it's a serious business to curse someone. As one of the cursed, I feel an obligation to address this act with a robust response.

Made from tree branches tied to metal welded framework, with a belly full of charcoal wrapped in blanket. A heart made from charred wood, lacerated and bound in copper Lifting The Curse is designed to absorb dark energy. On the penultimate day of its completion, a shamanic practitioner carried out a ritual connecting, giving focus and potency to the grubby working as the old moon passed over to the new.

Lifting The Curse now stands in one of the galleries of the Royal Academy doing what it needs to. When the exhibition finishes in January 2022, its entrails will be delivered to the river and burnt, transmuting negative into positive energy.