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