Sep 3, 2011

DAY TWO, St Barnabas Church

I had a relaxing start to the day, with a cup of tea and a chat with Paul Tucker at the tranquil St Barnabas Church, where there is a huge range of great work on show. Paul Tucker's exhibition, "From Waterlooville to Walthamstow via Walberswick" presents images that begin at his family home and crossover to Walthamstow, where he lives now, taking in various other places from Dubai to Suffolk. The images are presented where the stations of the cross are normally hung. As Paul observes, the layout of the large church means you have to take a journey round the church to see the photos from his journey. I really enjoyed looking at these carefully observed photos, which are presented in well chosen pairs that complement each other and allow you to spot surprising similarities between seemingly unrelated places. Metal ladders in a hall in Tottenham mirror the bend of misshapen trees in Epping Forest and autumn leaves in Epping Forest are a similar shade of orange to the lino floor of a building in Walthamstow.
Southsea, by Paul Tucker
On the pillars along the aisle, Kirsten Schmidt has hung intricately printed fabric banners that are inspired by William Morris. The colours are subtle, so they don't immediately jump out but they do enhance the space and work well with the orangey-pinky-red stone of the building. 

Serpentine swimmer, by Sean Pines
 Walthamstow residents may recognise some of the subjects of Sean Pines's beautifully composed portrait photographs. Roger and Flossie, publicans of the Nag's Head feature, along with their fluffy white cat. So does Jason Coker and his many dogs, along with Stella Creasy MP. We get to see the man behind the camera too, in a close up self portrait. There's something sad about the portrait of singer Kevin Rowland in his too-big dungarees.

The man looking after the church (sorry, I forgot to ask your name) said he liked Lorraine Huddle's sculptures of mermaids and her other strange creatures, which are, appropriately, presented a bit like relics or icons. Unfortunately we had to guess at which painting was Anthony Lane's "Lano", which the guide said is exhibited in the chancel because no one in the church knew what a chancel is.

Photograms printed onto fabric, by Anna Newsom Lyons
 Just near the door, don't miss Anna Newson-Lyons's experimentational photograms, where the sun and the placing of leaves and other objects have had a magical effect. 

This child's stool caught my eye...

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