I have continued to work on my Bethnal Green project Private View… with further visits to the V&A Museum of Childhood and York Hall. Both of these venues have interesting histories.
The Museum was originally constructed to provide a home for exhibits from the Great Exhibition in 1851. The “Brompton Boilers’ as it was affectionately known opened in Kensington in 1854. It was intended as a temporary structure as other permanent buildings were being constructed. In 1868 the building was offered to the boroughs of London as it was to be removed from the Kensington site. Bethnal Green took up the offer and the ‘boilers’ were moved to its present site. The museum opened in Bethnal Green in 1872.
York Hall was opened in 1929 as a purpose built sports venue, which accounts for the Art Deco features which abound. It has been a major venue for boxing, much loved in East London. It remains as an active leisure centre and boxing venue today.
I have produced a second video of the images to-date. It’s interesting that each of the venues seems to have it’s own colour. At Oxford House red prevails; at the Museum orange is the colour; at the Library it’s the blue ceilings; and at York Hall green is much in evidence. This might provide a clue as to how to organise the installation of the exhibition and to select final images.
As regards the installation, I am favouring a traditional form of printing and framing with plain wooded frames and mounts. This I hope will have the effect of representing the work as a series of images for artistic contemplation. Presentation full bleed on foam-core was my first thought but on reflection I think this might suggest that the images are promotional in nature.
There is quite a bit yet to do. I have still to photograph St John on Bethnal Green, for which I have permission. I am also still in discussion with the folks at the Town Hall and would like to return to the Library to photograph the old rooms upstairs and to York Hall to capture the Turkish Baths.
Click in the image below to see the latest video: