Walking and photographing we explored the poetics of everyday life, investigated the relationship of place to memory, uncovered fragments of the former hospital’s history, documented processes of urban transformation and essayed personal responses to the space. The final artwork is these photographs that mirror photobooks created in editorial workshops during which we folded and sewed photographs into paper-based constellations. The images have been installed in the centre’s walls and printed as a newspaper photowork

ACAVA commissioned the studio to work with St Charles 6th Form College  Art and Photography students and their tutors to create a site-specific photographic project for  St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing in Ladbroke Grove area, West London.

first workshop: photographic research

In the  first workshop we started by looking at photobooks and photozines  that engage with sites/ places / spaces and debated what site-specific photographic work can do:

  • explore poetics of the everyday in the area- things that are not necessarily noticed but are part of day to day life
  • investigate  relationship of space to memory
  • document urban transformation
  • uncover fragments of historical urban landscape 
  • represent feelings, emotional response to the space
  • research a specific site through walking, drifting, getting lost

Photozines are a very tangible way to work in response to a place. Its immediacy allow for a quick representation of a subject or idea; and  they can be easily designed and printed with a home printer and photocopier. We looked at: Lucinda Smart's Let me take you by the hand, a photonewspaper work, Adam Murray's Winterthur photozine ,and our photobookzine Paintball Field, examples of photoworks that resulted from spending time photographing a place and sequencing the photographic series into a timeline that captures the lived experience of the place. 

We also had our first site visit and used the photo cameras for an initial photo-documentation of the centre. The history of the site can be traced back to 1879 when Saint Marylebone Infirmary was built in Rackham Street, Ladbroke Grove, to support the sick poor serviced by the Saint Marylebone Workhouse. Renamed in 1930 as St. Charles Hospital, some of this background story can be uncovered at Peter Higginbotham's workhouses site.

editorial workshops: book dummies

These are the amazing first photobook dummies produced during the subsequent editorial workshops, experimenting with design, printing and bookbinding.
Views of some of the books created by Chloe, Monet, Amy, Eden, Sundus, Jack, Kavita, Dominika and Zainab.

PDF of the collective  newspaper work here

Project by msdm/ paula roush for the St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing in North Kensington, West London. With St Charles College art students (fine arts, textiles and photography) and their tutors. Managed by Isabella Niven- ACAVA [Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art] in collaboration with St Charles College. With the support of Lorraine McGuinness, Meena Julien, Craig Wheatley and Melanie Rye. Funded by NHS West London Clinical Commissioning Group. Published by ACAVA.

 Photobooks by Kavita Mahabir-Singh, Eden Hawkes, Dominika Ostrowska, Sundus Abubaker, Amy Valance John-Brown, Zainab Jode, Jack Sheppard, Chloé Tomasin,Monet Jean-Charles.

2-3>Kavita Mahabir-Singh | Ever Changing 22 Pages 29 X 20.5
4-5>Eden Hawkes | Between Bricks Of Nature 8 Pages 14.8 X 21 cm
6-7>Dominika Ostrowska | Serenity 16 Pages 21 X 14.5 cm
8-9>Sundus Abubaker | Nature 8 Pages 14.8 X21 cm
10-11>Amy Valance John-Brown | As Nature Unfolds...9 Pages 19 X 13 cm (171cm total)
12-13>Zainab Jode | 16 Pages 14.8 X 21 cm
14-15>Jack Sheppard | Aperture 10 Pages 19.7 X 29.7 cm
16-17>Chloé Tomasin | Sitting Down Brings Back Memories… 8 pages 18.5 x 12.5 cm (148 cm total)
18-19>Monet Jean-Charles | Isolation 16 pages 14.8 X21 cm
1-20> paula roush | where shall we wander 72 pages 21 x 29.7 cm

Permanent installation at  St Charles Centre for Health & Wellbeing in North Kensington, West London, 2015