This workshop will be led by the artist Wanja Kimani, based on her two-part artwork ‘Venus and I’ (2019). Comprised of a video and sculpture, the work is inspired by Saidiya Hartman’s ‘Venus in Two Acts’, a text reflecting on Venus, an enslaved Black woman and her simultaneous presence and absence in the archive of Atlantic slavery.

The workshop will begin with a reading from Hartman and a presentation of ‘Venus and I’ by Wanja, drawing out the theme of the work of hands. This will be followed by a practical session making hand scrubs using dried flowers, essential oils and other simple ingredients, which participants can take away in small jars. For those who feel comfortable, there will the opportunity of giving and/or receiving hand massages. Ingredients lists will be provided for those with allergies.

We encourage those attending to read Hartman’s text in advance, although this is not obligatory.

Content Guidance: please be aware that the film deals with issues of abuse.

Wanja Kimani is a visual artist based in Northamptonshire, UK, whose work flows between performance, film, text and textiles. Selected to represent Kenya in the 29th Venice Biennale in 2022, Wanja’s work often explores the relation between the individual body and wider forces, with a focus on the Black, female body in relation to landscape, to history and the possibility of fluidity. Her most recent work experiments with words, landscape and plant-derived watercolours. She is a PhD candidate in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts, London.

Admission is free as part of the Trinity Hall Arts Festival. Spaces are limited and must be booked in advance. Tickets will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Once you have booked your seat(s) you will receive a booking confirmation which you will be asked to present on arrival. Please either print a copy or display using a hand-held electronic device. You will not be issued paper tickets.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you find you are no longer unable to attend, as we have limited capacity for this event. Please email the office or call +44 (0)1223 332555 at the earliest opportunity.

We like to take photos at our events to use in our digital and print communications. If you do not wish to have your photo taken, please let us know in advance or on the day.

The Graham Storey Room, Trinity Hall, Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TJ.

Please visit the Porters’ Lodge on arrival where they will direct you to the venue.

If you have any queries, please contact Rebecca Horner on or call +44 (0)1223 332555.