Category Archives: Hackney

Spiral scratch – Heliacal revisited

Today I caught up with the curator of Heliacal, Rachel Thomson of Imbroglio magazine, (whose work is also included) the show taking place at the 13th century St Augustine’s Tower  (Hackney’s oldest building) to find out how the show has gone and how it has been received, just before it closes this week. “We have had about 900 visitors over the two weeks that the show has been on which I am very happy about,” Rachel told me. “It’s really good and far in excess of the number of visitors that I have had for other shows I have curated in Vyner Street, for instance. The show has had a great amount of interest from very different kinds of people, not only those purely interested in the arts. We have also had a great mixture of people attending. Everyone thinks the location and the work sits really well together and is hugely impressed by both. ‘Breathtaking’, a ‘fantastic experience’ are just a few of the comments we have had.”

Rachel has also uncovered an intriguing resonance between the title of the exhibition and its location itself. “I originally called the show ‘Heliacal’ as the word means ‘belonging to or relying on the sun’ as I like to work just using sunlight and the other photographers in the show use sunlight in the same way to create their images. An artist creates something from nothing. The artists in this exhibition choose to create their work with inexpensive found materials, such as leaves, twigs, insects and discarded rubbish and by exploiting direct photographic (cameraless) processes that rely purely on sunlight.

However, Rachel has since discovered that the word can refer to a spiral as well, which is very appropriate as St Augustine’s Tower, where the show is held has a spiral staircase connecting the floors to each other.

Rachel also has plans for a new show at the tower, provisionally entitled, Come Up and See My Etchings.

 

Here are some images from the Heliacal show.

The Hunters by Tessa Farmer. Photograph by Avalon Hale-Thomson

Warumpi Tryptich by Miriam Nabarro. Photograph by Rachel Thomson

Living Echoe III by Rachel Sokal. Photograph by Dawn Craig

Living Echo by Rachel Sokal. Photograph by Dawn Craig

Plastic Bags by Rachel Thomson. Photograph by Dawn Craig

Heliacal I by Rachel Thomson. Photograph by Rachel Thomson

Heliacal II by Rachel Thomson. Photograph by Rachel Thomson

The exhibition closes tomorrow (Thursday, October 18).and is at  St Augustine’s Tower, The Narroway, Hackney E8 1HR

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Filed under Art, Art exhibition, Artist, Hackney, Imbroglio magazine, London, Miriam Nabarro, Photography, Rachel Sokal, Rachel Thomson, Screenprinting, St Augustine's Tower i, Tessa Farmer

I love Chatsworth Road! Magazine launch and photo exhibition

I love Chatsworth Road magazine front cover

Tomorrow night (Friday) sees the launch of photographer Jorn Tomter‘s magazine, I love Chatsworth Road. It is at the Dentist, 33 Chatsworth Road E5 from 6pm-9pm.

The exhibition is on Wed-Sun, 12pm-6pm until October 28.

From the introduction to the magazine, Jorn: “Once there were green fields and big detached houses all over our neighbourhood in Clapton. Glorious days! Then came the purpose-built market street Chatsworth Road with all its surrounding streets and houses. Clapton became part of the city. It changed, and it hasn’t stopped changing since. A couple of wars came and went. Some of the buildings were bombed and became playgrounds for kids while gradually being replaced by estates and tower blocks. Many moved to Essex to get a tan after sunbeds were invented, and new people moved in to the Chats area. Tasty jerk chicken became the new smell of Sunday.

When everyone started to shop at supermarkets, the market suffered and eventually closed down a couple of decades ago. Squatters came and went. The mafia came and went. The Murder Mile came and went. Elizabeth Taylor came and went. The cheap houses attracted low-income families, dreamers and creative people. Today the cheap houses are not so cheap any more and the coffee is probably as good as in Sydney. The market is back to please rather than as a necessity.

Who knows what will happen. Some will praise it. Others will complain and say it was much better before. It’s part of human nature to long for what once was. One remembers the good bits and neglects the bad experiences. I suspect that not all the owners of the farms and mansions welcomed the growth during the 19th century.
I love the community here and the majority of the people I talk to seem to like it too – simply because they feel it is a strong sense of community. I also love photography as a medium to record and as a reason to approach strangers. I started to document the area the first time I came here – it was like entering a timewarp and I knew it was going to change – plus I also fell in love with the people. I have learned that who I once thought were dodgy guys in hoodies coming out of the Pedro club can be sweet daddies and have a keen interest in what I am doing.

I don’t represent any shops or individuals, but I only have a strong curiosity to explore. What you find in this paper is a taster of what ilovechatsworthroad.com contains – the website I use as a platform for all the stories I come across and the photos I take. If it is well received and I don’t lose too much money, I will make another one. The aim is to publish it once a year or biannually and include some local young people in the process. Hopefully some of them might like to help out with producing this paper.

Thanks for all the support and to those who said “Yes” to being in front of my camera!”

Jørn Tomter
Photographer and Creative Director

Do you want to be photographed or do you have a story to
suggest? Please email: ilovechatsworthroad@gmail.com

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Filed under Art, Art exhibition, Hackney, I love Chatsworth Road, Jorn Tomter, London, Photography, Private view, Shops, The Dentist Chatsworth Road, The Dentist Chatsworth Road, Uncategorized