Categories
Environment London Photography Plastic Pollution Thames Thames River Thames Tides Tides Water

Keepers

What do we keep and what do we cast out?

Susi Arnott and I have been working with a portable daylight studio on the Thames foreshore, to produce an almost indiscriminate catalogue of objects, many collected during Thames 21’s clean-up and research events.

Objects of disgust will be returned to the river or bagged-up for recycling into something acceptable. Historical or ‘artistic’ items may be collected and raised to a higher plane. Other items may be taken as evidence, or present a baffling amalgam of the living and dead, human and natural, toxic and benign.

The studio is designed to photograph the objects on the foreshore while they’re still trailing water and slime. They hover, privileged, above the tidal ground on which they have been found, poised between the museum and the mud.

Immersion in the tidal water causes objects to come adrift from their origins. Things we wish to go away, from religious offerings to wet-wipes, return with a sea change. Our habitual associations and connotations are often switched about. The ugly becomes beautiful, the deeply personal becomes public.

Where do you do you draw the line?

Keepers and Duck will be shown at The Bargehouse Gallery,
Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St., London SE1 9PH
Oct 31st to Nov. 10th 2019. Open 11am to 6pm.
Part of The London Ultra

Categories
Cities Environment London Plastic Pollution Science Sea Susi Arnott Thames Thames River Thames Tides Tides Time Lapse Video

Duck

Duck is a single screen 8.5 min, 16:9 ratio, film with stereo sound for gallery or cinema screening.

The film emerges from our collaboration with Prof. Sofia Olhede at the UCL Big Data Institute.

Duck premiered at the London Experimental Film Festival in Jan. 2019. Please contact us at crispinhughes@gmail.com if you wish to screen Duck.

Keepers and Duck will be shown at The Bargehouse Gallery,
Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St., London SE1 9PH
Oct 31st to Nov. 10th 2019. Open 11am to 6pm.
Part of The London Ultra

Synopsis

Beneath Dark House Walk in central London, a plastic duck is locked in a time-lapse selfie. On the rising tide, they’re lifted by the Thames and generate visual and audio readouts as they experience the river. 
Is that a fixed grin, or a Kuleshov experiment?

Meanwhile, a fixed observer watches them from above. And listens. And makes its own recordings. Frames of reference, timescales and data visualisation are juxtaposed in this composite film that plays with place, perception and point of view.

Originating from our work on tides with data scientist Prof. Sophia Olhede, this film combines the human compulsion to anthropomorphise with a random aesthetic and the plot of a picaresque novel.
‘She dreamed she was delivered of a tennis-ball, which the devil (who, to her great surprise, acted the part of a midwife) struck so forcibly with a racket that it disappeared in an instant; and she was for some time inconsolable for the lost of her offspring; when, all on a sudden, she beheld it return with equal violence, and enter the earth, beneath her feet’.
From p.1 of ‘Roderick Random’ by Tobias Smollett, pub.1748.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is duck_screen_grab-12-of-1-edit-edit-edit-2.jpg
Duck
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is g0039061.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is g0042318-edit.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is g0045231.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is g0044249.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is g0047403-edit.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is totally-thames-2019-blue-logo-roundel-3.jpg
Categories
Air quality Architecture Children Construction Environment Health Industry Migrants Nepal Pollution Poverty Work

Beasts of Burden

A trip to the Kathmandu Valley to photograph the human and animal workforce in brick kilns.

Mules are bred in India and purchased there to work in Nepal’s brick kilns. If they survive in reasonable condition they can be sold on as mountain pack animals at the end of the season. The mule owners bring with them boys to drive the mules back and forth, from the brick drying stacks to the kiln itself. Many of these children are classed as bonded labour. Their families are paid upfront for the child’s season of work. They can rapidly become trapped in a cycle of debt.
Conditions are even worse for adult workers. The safe working load for a mule is a third of its bodyweight. I saw adults carrying as many as 32 two-kilo bricks – effectively their entire bodyweight.
If you want to know more about this issue have a look at ‘Brick by Brick’. This excellent report links environment, human labour and animal welfare.

Brick Kiln Kathmandu Nepal

Brick Kiln Kathmandu Nepal

Brick Kiln Kathmandu Nepal

Brick Kiln Kathmandu Nepal

Brick Kiln Kathmandu Nepal

Brick Kiln Kathmandu Nepal

Brick Kiln Kathmandu NepalBrick Kiln Kathmandu NepalBrick Kiln Kathmandu NepalBrick Kiln Kathmandu NepalBrick Kiln Kathmandu NepalBrick Kiln Kathmandu NepalBrick Kiln Kathmandu NepalBrick Kiln Kathmandu NepalBrick Kiln Kathmandu Nepal

Brick Kiln Kathmandu Nepal

Categories
Architecture Climate Change Environment Health London Pollution Science Thames Tides Time Lapse Urbanisation Water

Crossness Pumping Station Open Day

Thames Tides, Crossness Pumping Station
Sunday 23rd October was Open Day at the Crossness Pumping Station. The ‘Thames Tides’ installation, created by Susi Arnott and I, screened throughout the day alongside the mighty beam engines. You can still catch the show this Friday 28th Oct. Details and photos below.

Crossness Pumping Station. Friday 28th Oct. 2016

Where?
Crossness Pumping Station
The Old Works, Thames Water S.T.W. Bazalgette Way, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ

When?
Friday 28th Oct. Public guided tour from 10am-1pm. Booking is required for this – through Eventbrite on the Crossness website. Cost is £12 and includes tea and biscuits.
Parking available outside site on Bazalgette Way. Walkers/cyclists gain access via the pedestrian access pathway – at end of Bazalgette Way on left BEFORE thames water security gate.

Categories
Architecture Cities London Photography Pollution Population Thames Tides Time Lapse

Thames Tides at Crossness Pumping Station

Thames Tides, Crossness,Susi Arnott,Crispin Hughes

Thames Tides is screening alongside the beam engines at the ethereal Crossness Engine House. The huge building combines ponderous machinery and delicate filigree work to astonishing effect. Its function was to pump London’s sewage up above the level of the Thames and release it on an outgoing tide. What better place to screen Thames Tides?

Here are the details:

Crossness Pumping Station. Sunday 23rd Oct. and Friday 28th Oct. 2016 10.30am-4pm.

Where?
Crossness Pumping Station
The Old Works, Thames Water S.T.W. Bazalgette Way, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ

When?
Sunday 23rd Oct.
is an Open day from 10.30- 5pm (last admission 4pm). There is no need to book, visitors can just turn up. Ticket prices are £6 for adults and £2 for children under 16.

Friday 28th Oct. Public guided tour from 10am-1pm. Booking is required for this – through Eventbrite on the Crossness website. Cost is £12 and includes tea and biscuits.
Parking available outside site on Bazalgette Way. Walkers/cyclists gain access via the pedestrian access pathway – at end of Bazalgette Way on left BEFORE thames water security gate.

And here are some more photos:

Categories
Climate Change Collaboration Culture Development Environment Ethiopia France Islam Landfill Men Migrants Participatory Photography Politics Pollution Population Poverty Power Refugees Smuggling War

Displaces. A photo-project in the Calais ‘Jungle’.

Calais 'Jungle' photographed by 18 year old refugee Esyas ( name changed).This mysterious photograph of the Calais ‘Jungle’ is the work of 18 year-old Esyas (his name has been changed), an artist from Eritrea. He is taking part in the Displaces photo project set up by Prof. Corinne Squire.

I’ve been working alongside Gideon Mendel, teaching photography and editing the results of a two day workshop. We’ve left cameras with refugees to document their lives in the camp. I’ll post more images as the project progresses.

Esyas’ photograph conveys the atmosphere of this place which is not a place. A landfill site full of people, now partially bulldozed back into the ground. There is a stark simplicity to the landscape which makes it feel like an allegory: the camp, the fence, the road, the police, and the bulldozers. Yet everywhere there is a flickering of different lives and cultures: the scraps of possessions burnt or ploughed into the earth, the Eritrean church, the mosque, the library, the cafes and the figures playing football or just staring at the horizon.

Categories
Air quality Animals Climate Change Construction Cooking Development Donkeys India Industry Pollution Poverty Unemployment Urbanisation Water Weather Women Work

Work, Climate and Donkeys

For donkeys as well as people, the brick kilns in India are dangerous and unhealthy places to work – but unemployment is worse.

The RAJ brick kiln in Rajakhera near Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

At the RAJ kiln near Agra, accommodation for donkeys and their owners lies empty. Unseasonal rains have waterlogged the brick kilns and there’s no work for them here.

Back in the home village of Madhupur, 16-year old Archang wakes early to begin looking after the unemployed men of her family.

The family have to feed themselves and their donkeys, whether or not they’re earning.

Families who also own a cart can occasionally earn some money hauling a load.

But most of the men and their animals will be out of work until the kilns dry out again.

Climate change makes life more precarious.
Categories
Animals Children Construction Development Donkeys India Industry Pollution Poverty Transport Women Work

Home Lives of the Donkey People

Donkey owners – problem or solution?

Indian brick kiln donkeys

Itinerant donkey owners working in Gujarat’s brick kilns spend 24 hours a day with their donkeys. They live, work, play and abide together. The donkeys’ welfare is entirely in the people’s hands. So who are they, and how do they live alongside their animals? I hope these photographs from MA Ambapur kiln near Ahmedabad will help show how these two societies live together.

 

Categories
Animals Climate Change Construction Development Donkeys Health India Industry Pollution Population Poverty Water Work

Grazing

In the UK the word ‘grazing’ brings to mind lush green fields. In Madhupur village near Agra we followed donkey owner Daudayal as he took his family’s donkeys to the only grazing available to them.

Donkeys graze on plastic and excrement
 

The land doubles as a latrine for the entire village, which lacks basic sanitation.