Inhabiting The Foreshore is a fortnightly research residency at Hundred Years Gallery
Presentations and discussions will take place on Friday afternoons during May and June
Leah Millar and Billy Steiger bring the Thames foreshore into the gallery in a presentation of a collaborative work in progress focusing on the history and collective inhabitation of the Thames foreshore.
The river and its banks have defined London since the capital’s foundation as an early settlement: their geological, cultural and trading histories offering alternative readings of a city in which many people now struggle to find a sense of belonging and connection. Beneath parapets and along the shore line are stony beaches which are revealed twice daily at low tide, along which fragments of London’s timeline can be found in amongst thick layers of black Thames mud and silt. Although this communal past remains accessible to those who seek it, environmental and socio-economic change make access to both the shoreline and river paths increasingly difficult, while precarious living conditions and development in turn change our sense of community. The artists hope to open out such complications in a series of four events at Hundred Years Gallery.
1. LISTENING TO THE FORESHORE – Friday 5 May – 5:00-6:30pm
Objects and sounds collected from the foreshore will be presented in tandem with photographs taken in the docklands area. A facilitated discussion on the dialogue between our contemporary and historical collective connections to the river and its banks will follow.
2. MAPPING THE FORESHORE – Friday 19 May – 5:00-6:30pm
A participatory drawing session in response to gathered physical/sound/photographic materials, as we create a map of our personal and collective connections to the Thames foreshore. All materials provided.
3. READING THE FORESHORE – Friday 2 June – 5:00-6:30pm
A reading group session where text excerpts relating to the foreshore at different periods will be used as the starting point for an organic discussion.
Amongst other sources this will include material from:
– London labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew
– Forgotten Thameside, Glyn H Morgan
– Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens
4. PLAYING THE FORESHORE – Friday 16 June – 6:30-8:00pm
A film projection and improvised sound event to finish residency, drawing on and tying/knotting together the threads of research from the previous three sessions.
Leah Millar (b.1982, Belfast) is an artist working between Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and London. Her work invites alternative readings of social history and material culture, using them to create new photochemical processes aesthetics in artist cinema. Recent works explore individual experience in order to re-appraise sociality and in turn challenge linear representations of people and histories found in mainstream visual media. She is a studio holder at The Newbridge Project and is a member of the film labs no.w.here (London) and L’Abominable (Paris). Having recently completed a Masters Research degree with LUX and Central Saint Martins (looking at artist film as a product of collaborative and collective practice), she now runs a community resource for artist film production in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (Hands On Film Lab) where she leads workshops for both artists and community groups.
Billy Steiger (b.1986, Dublin) plays the violin and draws. His work explores the co-operative potentialities naturally implicit in improvisation as a modus vivendi, and aims to challenge received notions on distinguishing “life” from “art”. Always present throughout Billy’s work is an explicit fascination with the psycho-acoustical/psycho-geological nature of space (interior/exterior). Alongside Seymour Wright and Ute Kangiesser, Billy has translated this practise into a series of experimental music workshops aimed (non-exclusively) at children. He has collaborated with a wide variety of musicians and artists, including but not limited to; John Tilbury, Terry Day, Tom Wheatley, Rie Nakajima, John Russell, Daniel Blumberg & Ilan Volkov.