Sunday, June 14, 2009

Archive Adventures

Archive Adventures at Whitechapel Gallery was the culmination of a project, with local schools and artists, to consider the way in which the area has developed via the Gallery's Archives.
The exhibition shows reproductions of items from the archives juxtaposed with images , taken by the children, of the area today. The multi cultural nature of the area is represented well in it's religious buildings Hawkesmoor's 18th century Christ Church (that was the centre of worship for Huguenot immigrants) is balanced by the German Lutheran Church and East London Mosque.
Images of poverty and unrest such as soup kitchens and the match girls strike are balanced by pictures of hope in the Brick Lane Carnival and happy children at play.
I was particularly taken with the link to continuity that was made with an archive photograph (c. 1900) of school children around the Cairn Stone in Westham Park being reproduced with today's children in the same setting - the clothes, nationalities and means of photography may have changed but children still enjoy a school outing.

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