Three artists explore materiality and the passage of time in Hackney’s oldest building.
Reading Stones: Anne Krinsky / Carol Wyss / Susan Eyre
St. Augustine’s Tower, Hackney Central, London E8 1HT
26 September – 6 October, 2019
Anne Krinsky, Carol Wyss (one of The London Group’s newest members) and Susan Eyre present an exhibition of site-specific works in response to the history and architecture of the ancient stone Tower of Saint Augustine, Hackney’s oldest building. Built in the 13th century, the tower houses a magnificent 16th century clock whose mechanisms still strike the hours, occupying three floors connected by steep spiral stone stairs.
Through their respective interests in the land, the body and the cosmos, Krinsky, Wyss and Eyre explore relationships between time and materiality. Their exhibited works provide singular “readings” of phenomena such as the erosion of gravestones, (re)configurations of human bones and the cosmological orbits of rocky bodies by which we measure time.
Events and Opening Hours
Week 1 Exhibition Hours: Friday 27 Sept, Saturday 28 Sept and Sunday 9 Sept / 12 – 6 pm
Tower Open Day Sunday 29 September: Volunteer Historians will be present from 2:30 – 4:30 pm.
Whitechapel First Thursday 3 October 6 – 9 pm
Week 2 Exhibition Hours: Friday 4 Oct, Saturday 5 Oct and Sunday 6 Oct / 12 – 6 pm
Finissage Event Sunday 6 October 12 – 6 pm
St. Augustines Tower
About the Artists
Anne Krinsky works across analogue and digital media – painting, printmaking, photography and video. Fascinated by the ways in which built and natural structures change over time, she is working on a project on wetlands and climate change. Anne has been awarded two Arts Council England Grants for the Arts and an Artists International Development Fund Grant.
Carol Wyss examines the relationship of human structures to their surroundings, using the human skeleton as a framework. She reconfigures her etched, cast and printed imagery of bones to create dramatic three-dimensional installations. Born in Switzerland, Carol lives and works in London and in Liechtenstein and exhibits across Europe.
Susan Eyre investigates unseen forces and the activity of matter in the universe, working with print, installation and video. Her interests include intangible phenomena that cannot be explained in terms of materiality, such as the aura of place and the dream of paradise. Susan has participated in research collaborations and exhibitions with scientists across the UK.
About the Work
“I am interested in the ephemeral nature of the physical world – in the transformation of terrains and in the erosion of stone, wood and metal over time. In developing imagery for the Ephemera scrolls, I wanted to create visual relationships across time and space. I photographed the Tower’s clock mechanism and gravestones from the surrounding garden and other London churchyards. During a recent residency at Oberpfalzer Kunstlerhaus in Schwandorf, Germany, I photographed the River Naab, as its water levels dropped during the hottest June on record. I feel impelled to document changes to wetlands and waterways in this time of accelerating climate change.”
“My aim is to re-create the original ‘UR’ bone which has neither gender nor race, the first ever bone which existed, the one which fell from heaven or space. It is an attempt at merging all the bones of the human skeleton into one entity, which then becomes the common denominator, the starting point from which all bones and consequently all humans came. I am referring to the bible story of Eve’s creation from Adam’s rib, the Greek myth of Pyrrha with the creation of humans from the stones / bones of the earth and Da Vinci’s perfectly proportional Vitruvian man, as well as to science’s search for the ultimate building blocks of our universe.”
“My work builds on an interest in the mystery of time viewed across human, cosmological and quantum scales. The video piece installed alongside the tower’s ancient clock makes reference to the scientific theory of time crystals; a model which proposes a structure that repeats in time, as well as in space. Patterns employed within the film mirror the crystal structure of the mineral beryl, commonly used to fashion the original reading stones. Variations in perspective are manipulated through the speeding up, slowing down and overlapping of events to deconstruct a linear flow of time and interrogate the methods by which humans measure and experience this phenomenon.”
Reading Stones Finissage: Sunday 6 October 2019 12 – 6 pm
Please join the artists for rock cakes, refreshments and readings on the last day of their takeover of the ancient St. Augustine’s Tower.
Take tea and search the tower for hidden texts, making use of magnifying ‘reading stones’ to assist in deciphering the miniscule fonts. Throw gemstones onto a lithomancy board and read the patterns that may hold a clue to your future.
Reading Stones could be considered the first instruments used to create an enhanced sensory experience. Originally made from ground and polished rock crystal or beryl, they were placed over texts to magnify them. This early optical technology paved the way toward observation of the furthest reaches of the universe and its minutest components.
The act of “reading stones” can refer to both the scientific practice of geological investigation and the ritual of lithomancy which seeks to interpret the patterns of stones cast by those wishing to divine the future.