Dorsal Fin, Daniel Pastiener
Image Tom Carter 2014
Dorsal Fin, Daniel Pastiener
Image Tom Carter 2014
Dorsal Fin, Daniel Pastiener
Image Tom Carter 2014
John Summers, Attempting to Bury One's Own Head
Image Tom Carter 2014
John Summers, Attempting to Bury One's Own Head
Image Tom Carter 2014
John Summers, Attempting to Bury One's Own Head
Image Tom Carter 2014
John Summers, Attempting to Bury One's Own Head
Image Tom Carter 2014
Tom Woolner, Isaac Watts 340th Anniversary singing microphone

Art House Foundation invited Rupert Ackroyd, Daniel Pasteiner, John Summers and Tom Woolner to produce work through research in Hackney Archives during Spring 2014.

Rupert Ackroyd
Rupert Ackroyd presents a selection of archive material dated from the 1970’s and 80’s that relates to the subject of gentrification. The term gentrification was coined in the 1960’s by sociologist Ruth Glass as a name for the process and effects of middle class re-colonisation of inner city areas. It has since developed into a large academic field containing much debate as to its definition, effects and causes. It is the aim of Ackroyd to find documentation within the archive of the beginnings of this process as it occurred within the Borough of Hackney. This research will then be used as material for a forthcoming written piece that will investigate gentrification’s prosaic characterisation.

Daniel Pasteiner
12 July – 31 August 2014, Hackney Archives
Whilst researching in the Hackney Archives, I came across the maps, one of which had a technical description, rendered in flamboyant script. This read: ‘A map or plan describing the line or situation of the reservoirs, cuts, canals, aqueducts and other works of Hackney.’ This was a beautifully produced hand-drawn map and it led me to the idea of flowing liquids and their subterranean routes as a way to make a picture related to the archive.

The folding screen format of the final piece seemed appropriate to the architecture of the space, a decorative screen to break up the room and create areas for study. Certain elements in the screen were taken directly from the maps, mostly the canals and reservoirs. There is also a stencil of a circular wave diagram and the tall grasses are taken from the Richard Dadd painting ‘The Fairy Fellers Master Stroke’. This was painted in 1864, around the same time as the maps. I was interested in Dadd’s Victorian visionary style and how his attention to detail and line is echoed in the archive maps with their eyeball/lantern motifs which are suggestive of the act of seeing.

Daniel Pasteiner 2014

John Summers
12 July – 31 August 2014, Hackney Archives

All six of these works were inspired by newspaper articles from the Hackney Archive dating back to the 1960’s. Five of them came out of researching the story of a reported poltergeist in the home of Baby Elaine Strachan and her mother Sally at 69 Spencer Grove, Stoke Newington, which took the form of a old White Lady who appeared on several occasions in 1967. Fires had been breaking out in the property, at one point consuming most of Elaine’s bedroom save the crib where she was sleeping. Investigations took place by mediums, priests, cannons, who reported feeling more than one ‘presence’. The medium believed that the White Lady was protecting the girl. The entire street was demolished and redeveloped soon after.

The sixth work was derived from an article reporting a beauty competition that took place in Hackney in the 1960’s and was won by a deaf and mute girl.

Much of the archive’s newspaper articles concern council affairs, political and community events, and these two stories stood out for their simplicity and human interest. The vast array of archival images of the ruins and surviving architecture of Hackney following the Blitz also inspired the forms within these six sculptures.

John Summers 2014

Tom Woolner
Isaac Watts 340th Anniversary Singing
Listen and download the full recordings on Soundcloud here
Tom Woolner’s research led him to focus on the writings and texts of Isaac Watts, noncomformist and long term resident of Abney Park, Stoke Newington, Hackney. Many of Watts’s words, written in the early eighteenth century, were taken over to colonial New England and were used as the basis for shape note music, a form of musical notation used to teach and encourage unschooled and American choirs of any denomination to sing. This music is seeing a resurgence in the US, Europe and the UK and Woolner is drawing a simple circle by bringing his words back to Watts’s Mount, a favourite spot in Abney Park, where Isaac Watts liked to sit, contemplate and write. A field recording on the 340th anniversary of Watts’s birth was made on site during July 2014 and the resulting recordings made available on Soundcloud, catalogued in the Archives and referenced in the Hackney Archived publication.

Minutes for the Singing can be found on the Sacred Harp website here
This work is made possible with the help and support of Abney Park Trust and London Sacred Harp.
Reference material and the full recordings are also archived in the Hackney Archives. Ref D/S/74/5

Hackney Archived Publication designed by Europa
The publication draws together contributions from all four Hackney Archives Residency artists, Sara Nunes Fernandes and AHF outgoing Writer in Residence Tom Morton. Extracts from Rupert Ackroyd’s piece on gentrification and Tom Woolner’s recording of Isaac Watts’ hymns are available in the publication and are placed permanently in full in the archives along with the publication.

Supported by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts