Exhibition launch 6th June
Tomorrow evening (Thursday 6th June) is the opening night of Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig, the free exhibition I’ve put together on the theme of forests, memory, and social / environmental history, with specimens, prints, and small press / unique edition texts. Around 50 contributors are involved, including the Kew Musuem of Economic Botany, and it is taking place at St. John on Bethnal Green, a Grade 1 listed building designed by Sir John Soane.
Please do come along at 7.30pm if you’re interested – there will be free sparkling wine as long as it lasts (and then a bar), live music, and a book launch of Nostalgia Forest.
Rob St. John will be playing at 8pm.
Following on from The Douglas Firs, his most recent album, Weald (released on 12” LP in 2011) is drawn from the Saxon word for forest, later assimilated by the Anglian wold and the Kentish wild. The album has been described as a ‘funereally paced’ ‘auditory forest’; in it, kraut, drone and psych influences are held together by peals of British folk guitar and wheeling gusts of rich, cryptic vocals. St. John plays drawn-out and ghostly songs underpinned by the creaks and drones of the harmonium, musical saw, fiddle, skittering drums, analogue synth and field recordings.
Jack Harris will be playing at 9pm.
A literate young folk musician, Harris is known for his intricate fingerstyle guitar and smoky, soulful vocals. He draws from the narrative traditions of folk and blues music, and will be responding on the night to the themes of trees, forests, and memory, with both trad. songs, and his own. His first two albums are Broken Yellow and The Flame and the Pelican.
I wanted to upload some photographs to show the progress with the exhibition building so far – below – one of our break-throughs being the decision to display the tree slices supplied by dendrochronologist Martin Bridge on painting easels. Also, on Monday I was awarded a prize at Royal Holloway for my presentation at the first roundtable of the Society, Representation and Cultural Memory interdisciplinary faculty group, so I’ll be spending the funds on making an online catalogue for the exhibition. Though I couldn’t afford a print catalogue, or hold the exhibition open for longer than a week (I’m really supposed to be finishing my PhD), there’s been a lot of interest shown in it, and it would be great to make it accessible online. If you are interested in coming along on Thursday night to join the drinks (the church is at 200 Cambridge Heath Road, right outside Bethnal Green tube station on the Circle Line, and next to the Museum of Childhood), please do take photographs or write up the exhibition somewhere afterwards if possible.