2 March to 14 May 
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 12 to 5pm (and by appointment*)
Online exhibition open until 31 May

*To make an appointment to visit the exhibition outside our standard opening hours, please email info@wysingartscentre.org.

Click on the image above to view install photos of the exhibition, taken by Wilf Speller.

To watch the full work online with open-captions and an audio-described option, please visit our Broadcasts site here.


We are delighted to invite you to our first exhibition of 2022, A Tender Ascent, from choreographer and performer Maëva Berthelot and musician, vocalist and DJ Coby Sey. Developed, filmed and presented in Wysing’s gallery, A Tender Ascent is an immersive audio-visual installation bringing together filmed performance and 6.1 surround sound. The exhibition is completed with new sculptures, developed with artist Alexandre Bavard.  A new live performance will re-activate the gallery space on Saturday 16 April. 

A Tender Ascent is a study of collaboration as ebb and flow. Sey and Berthelot feel out the way that embodied experiences
of sound and movement might connect or disconnect, producing new sensations in the process. They explore how frequency
might translate into movement,
gesture into resonance, image into vibration. 
The soundtrack that guides their experiment moves from
calming synth washes to jagged 150bpm 
rhythms, and finally to minor key piano,
as two figures in hazmat suits explore instruments, a stage set, and each other. Referencing the strangeness of science fiction and the everyday moments of isolation caused by the pandemic, the work sees Berthelot and Sey moving in and out of synch with the soundtrack, the natural world, and each other, as their roles become fluid and hierarchies dissolve. 

A Tender Ascent represents the culmination of work begun during Wysing’s
‘Broadcasting’ themed year in 2020, when Berthelot and Sey were in-residence at Wysing as part of the programme
for Wysing Polyphonic: The Ungoverned (curated by A---Z). 

A Tender Ascent is supported by Arts Council England and Fluxus Art Projects. Wysing Arts Centre would like to wish a special thank you to A---Z (Anne Duffau). 

Sculptures: Alexandre Bavard
Sound: Lottie Poulet 
Editing: Geoffrey Taylor 
Technical Production: Jack Wilson, Liam Cahill and Wilf Speller 
Exhibition curated by John Eng Kiet Bloomfield 
A Tender Ascent was commissioned for Wysing Polyphonic: The Ungoverned by A---Z (Anne Duffau).

Covid Safety   

Our team will be wearing masks and we ask you to continue wearing masks indoors (unless you are exempt). Sanitiser points and spare masks are available around the site. Social distancing is in place and capacity to the exhibition spaces will be monitored. Toilets will be available in our buildings with antibacterial wipes and spray.  

Access Information   

We want as many people as possible to be able to access and enjoy this exhibition. 

  • The exhibition includes a film with surround sound and sculptures of human shapes. 
  • The film has open captions. 
  • An audio description of the film is available on headphones. You can find these in the corridor on the way into the gallery. 
  • Elements of the soundtrack can be experienced physically through vibrating benches in the exhibition. 
  • The gallery is wheelchair accessible. 
  • There is seating in the gallery. 
  • The bathroom nearest the carpark is accessible. 
  • A calm decompression space is available onsite in the building opposite reception. 
  • A sensory map of Wysing and the exhibition is available at Reception. 

    By default, the gallery is dark and the sound is fairly loud. Please ask at Reception if you would like help with any of the following: 
  • Adjustment to the lighting 
  • Adjustment to the volume  
  • Guidance into the gallery 

If you have other access requirements that you would like to check with us before booking, please get in touch with Ceri Littlechild, Wysing’s Deputy Director, at ceri.littlechild@wysingartscentre.org and we will be happy to help. 


Maëva Berthelot is a choreographer, performer and teacher whose mode of working unfolds along the threshold between experimental, performative and collaborative approaches. After graduating in 2003 from the Paris Superior Conservatoire of Music and Dance, she has collaborated with artists and companies such as Emanuel Gat, Ohad Naharin, Clod Ensemble, Sharon Eyal, Rambert and spent six years as a senior member with Hofesh Shechter Company, contributing creatively as an original cast member in numerous pieces and as a teacher. Her work intends to instil a dialogue between material and immaterial realms, drawing attention to the tension between visible/invisible, conscious/unconscious and rehearsed/improvised. Whilst her research is rooted in a movement practice which is an ongoing inquiry into the themes of consciousness, transformation, healing, death and rebirth, her interest lies in creating cathartic spaces in which the emotional and sensational states related to loss, grief and change can be explored, processed and assimilated into conscious experience.

Coby Sey is a vocalist, musician and DJ, who, after years spent buzzing around the DIY artist circuitry of South East London, has developed a distinctive presence as a performer and producer offering a shifting, disorienting vision of club music. 

A long-time collaborator with Mica Levi, Tirzah, Babyfather, Klein and Kwes, Coby’s recorded work– as best evidenced on the Whities 010: Transport for Lewisham 10′′ – spans the realms of live instrumentation, sample-based productions and experimental music, melding recognisable motifs of hip hop, drone, jazz, grime and more into a dubbed-out anaesthesia. Live, these dreamlike compositions are imbued with a heavy, uneasy dancefloor energy, often abetted by live vocals as well as saxophone interjections c/o regular cohorts Ben Vince and Calderwood. 

Coby’s open-door approach to sharing and making music stretches to his work with London collective Curl, who release records and host events with a collaborative, improvisatory approach, as well as a regular slot on NTS which offers a portal into his appealingly murky musical world.

Alexandre Bavard studied at the École Boulle and the Lyon School of Fine Arts. With a background in graffiti, Bavard worked with painting  and drawing, before gradually expanding into performance, sculpture and installation. Imagining himself as an explorer and collector, he works with readymade materials and preexisting sites.