Gardez L'Eau by Enam Gbewonyo

Exhibitions, Free, In Person

Friday 17th June 10:00am – Sunday 14th August 2022 4:00pm

God's House Tower, Town Quay Road, Southampton, SO14 2NY

God’s House Tower presents a unique artwork by acclaimed British-Ghanaian textile and performance artist, Enam Gbewonyo, exploring the history of GHT, one of Southampton’s most important monuments.

Gardez L’Eau draws on themes of trade, travel, colonialism and piracy; and uses materials from God’s House Tower’s past to create a sculpture that runs through the entirety of the building.

The knitted artwork, which began on the roof of God’s House Tower, is made from three different materials; each one significant to the building’s history. The first section of the sculpture is made from knitted steel wire shaped into chain link and will act as a reimagined time-ball, originally used by Mariners to tell the time. The steel wire represents the metal once used in God’s House Tower for prisoner’s chains, and the chains of ships’ anchors, which would be moored near the building. The second part of the sculpture incorporates knitted wool and rope in reference to the materials pillaged from King Edward III by French invaders, and the oakum that prisoners used to pick from ropes.

Gardez L’Eau was presented as part of Meeting Point, a national programme led by contemporary arts agency Arts&Heritage ( that partners leading UK and international artists with museums and heritage sites to produce new artworks inspired by the museums and their collections.

This exhibition ran from Friday 17 June until Sunday 14 August in God’s House Tower.

Download the exhibition guide here

Download the large print exhibition guide here

You can find out more about Enam and explore her work by visiting

About the Artist

Enam Gbewonyo is a British Ghanaian artist and curator who lives and works in London. She began her career as a knitwear designer in New York after completing her BA in Textile Design at Bradford School of Art and Design, Bradford, UK in 2001. Her practice investigates identity, womanhood and humanity through the mediums of textile and performance. Gbewonyo also advocates handcraft’s spiritual healing powers, using processes like embroidery, knitting, weaving, print and wirework. By using craft as her portal, the artist pushes us to face the truth of a dark global history and the emotions it brings forth. Performance using movement and the spoken word entered her practice as another vehicle for Gbewonyo to tell the stories and personal epiphanies she was unearthing, creating powerful live spaces for healing, both for the artist and her audiences.