Traces Exhibition - a funny thing happened to me on the way home last night
An artist friend of mine, Désirée Ickerodt, had an exhibition in the far West of London, and I had intended to go to that, knowing that her work is intellectual, beautiful and always pushing on to the next level, I was sure the show would be worth the travel. Also it has the brilliant notion of ‘Saluting the Chosen Few’ as a theme for the exhibtion which runs between the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I will get there next week instead, before the next round of Games are upon us.
So back to the tale - my boss had asked me to do an extra day at work. Then I had a message from another friend who had been having a rough time recently and asked could I meet up for a drink after work. So I said yes, knowing that she is generally up for stuff and hoping to persuade her we could do both the drinking and the art thing.
All good so far but then work turned into a bit of a riot and I ended up being an hour late out of there – by which time my drinking buddy had cried off feeling under the weather, and another friend had invited me to a show in Hoxton.
So it is 6.30pm and I am in Canada Water facing a trilemma – Hammersmith, Hoxton or Home. Nicely alliterative choices.
Ashamedly I chose the easy option, a straightforward journey on the overland to Hoxton, to see the exhibition Traces. Now I should say my friend Bunney, who invited me to the exhibition, and is one of the artists in the show, tends to work on a ‘oh by the way’ basis of telling me what he is up to – usually accompanied by a fairly impressive statement. Ie by the way …I am being filmed for a Kylie Minogue video …Polly Morgan has invited me to her show …I am interviewing Cher next week – you get the idea.
Of I trotted to Traces knowing nothing of the show except it was in an old pub which I later found out had been a den on iniquity – a brothel, gin house and fencing venue, in its day.
There were queues; a proper ‘if your name’s not on the list you can’t come in’ doorman, (who calmly explained the process to everyone, invited us to grab a drink and encouraged us to touch items in the exhibition with care of course); a dingy atmosphere, the smell of damp and mould, and a heaving press of bodies.
It was wonderful, by which I mean it was full of wonder. The artists had responded to the building by infiltrating the environment, placing furniture, pictures, mirrors, taxidermy and faux taxidermy, concrete casts, flowers and fabrics so that they all appeared to have been left by the occupiers of the building just before you entered the rooms.
What a vicarious pleasure it was to rifle through desks, perfume bottles, and clothing. Read letters, diaries, and postcards which extolled the attributes of the working girls
Everything inside the building had been added especially for the exhibition, portraits, winged cruxifixes, game heads on the walls, furniture, and the fragrant etched leather tiles.
I salute the curator and the artists and I wish I was part of it.
Get there if you can, remember to RSVP
Exhibition opening times:
17th-18th August 12pm-8pm
19th August 11am-6pm
The Marquis of Lansdowne
32 Cremer Street
Please RSVP as this event is guest list only
Donna Walker and Talulah Mason