press enter to skip content

Welcome to The Higgins

You are here:

Home / Exhibitions / Teasing Out Contingencies

Teasing Out Contingencies

 Further_Reduced Pixels

Teasing Out Contingencies

17 June 2023 - 7 January 2024


The Higgins Bedford is delighted to present Teasing Out Contingencies – an exhibition of new large-scale oil paintings and a costume-installation by Quilla Constance (aka: QC) 


QC’s paintings for this exhibition employ a range of artistic techniques such as realism, surrealism and abstraction, and situate members of the public within opulent interiors from Buckingham Palace. Scenes from the paintings also include objects and logos that challenge and clash with the surroundings, creating unusual, humorous, and empowering imagery as a form of social activism.


The project began with a series of Open Studio performance workshops at Tate Modern in 2019. Gallery visitors were invited to dress up in QC’s costumes and work with diverse objects and music. These workshops set out to cross borders, confront stereotypes, and challenge gender, racial and class inequalities.


 Resized_Sista_Signifier_Quilla_Constance vp

Sista Signifier - Oils on Canvas (200cmX200cm) Quilla Constance, 2023. 


Teasing Out Contingencies seeks to create exciting new narratives, exploring - what is British society now and where are we going? These are timely questions as we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic, and as we re-examine our relationship with the British monarchy in the wake of the Queen’s passing and the Coronation of King Charles III.  


QC’s costume-installation titled The Grenadiers will also be on display at The Higgins. It will showcase costumes worn by workshop participants at Tate Modern, transforming these outfits into a piece of sculpture.


QC's artworks for this show also reference her maverick performance workshop with presenter-comedians Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan for the BAFTA nominated TV series Rob & Romesh Vs on Sky Max. This show made Teasing Out Contingencies accessible during the Covid 19 pandemic when Tate Modern was closed. Follow the link for a clip!


Teasing Out Contingencies is an ongoing project and marks the beginning of a larger body of paintings by QC. The huge response to her workshops at Tate Modern, with over 1,000 people taking part, was spectacular and much appreciated, and QC plans to incorporate imagery of as many participants as possible in her future artworks. 


We hope you enjoy the exhibition! 

QC would also like to offer special thanks to students from Bedford College, who feature in the painting Carnival Throne. 


Teasing Out Contingencies is supported by Arts Council England, Tate Modern, Bedford Creative Arts, The Higgins Bedford, and Bedford Borough Council.



Barbados Bonanza, Quilla Constance, 2023.

Teasing Out Contingencies Symposium

15th November 1.30-4:30pm Free

The symposium will explore QC's interdisciplinary artworks (paintings, costume-installations and performances) - and consider the navigation and visibility of diversely hybrid and mixed heritage identities within hegemonic frameworks of power. Guest speakers include: Dr Ope Lori – Dr Alexandra Kokoli – and Dr Mo Throp. Quilla Constance will also be speaking on the panel. Call 01234 718044 or click here to book your free place.  


Cello_1 resize

Quilla Constance Cello Performance

2 December 2023 2-2:15pm 

Join artist Quilla Constance (aka: QC) who will be giving an improvised, atonal cello performance among her vast visual artworks in her solo exhibition: Teasing Out Contingencies, at The Higgins Bedford (Sir William Harpur Gallery).


This project is funded by Arts Council England - supported by Tate Modern, and Bedford Creative Arts.

ARTS COUNCILBBC logoTate_2016_Logo


bca-new logo (2)Higgins Logo Teal