Old industrial buildings seem to hold a resonance of the past for me. When I discover that a building is to be demolished or altered, I have an urgency to record them in some way. Whereas many people may feel that these buildings are depressing, I am seduced by their grime and melancholy.
Working with mixed media on board ranging from A1 to 5’ x 6’ size, I use flat images such as photographs and print then add textured ingredients including acrylic paint, polyfilla, glue, ash, and textiles. Anselm Kiefer’s choice and use of materials and the style of Eduard Anikonov’s painting have been an influence.
As a counterpart, I have recently made an installation using print and projection. The scene is a window in a house which used to have the Didcot Cooling Towers looming over it. It is night time post demolition of the towers. I wanted to create a dream-like quality, an ambiguity about an image on the curtains. Is what we see a dream, imagining the towers are still there, or is the house revealing the image, an energy it has absorbed? Click to watch videos
A ten minute animation of photographs taken over six months shows the effect of weather and light on the Didcot Cooling Towers, a celebration of their life. The soundtrack is ‘Lacrimosa’ from Mozart’s Requiem in D minor, a mass celebrated for the repose of the soul of the dead. Click to watch videos
‘I don’t think you can separate a place from its history. I think a place is much more than the bricks and mortar that goes into its construction. I think it’s more than the accidental topography of the ground it stands on.’ Alan Moore
Helen J Young