Friday, May 02, 2014

The Tower

Entrance to The Tower;
 photo by Val Phoenix
Starting off the month with a multi-media site-specific installation! The day was grim and rainy, but that only added to the atmosphere as I made my way to unvisited location, a church in Bethnal Green. Not only a church, but as it turned out, the belfry of a church, lit by tiny tea lights set out on the steps. No electric lighting here! A Health and Safety nightmare, methinks.

But, I made my way carefully up the stone steps to the belfry, where I was met by a knot of people and a voice shouting, "The witch is here! The witch is here!" Indeed, she was, though I could not see her through the crowd, even when I crouched. Though I did make out a candle, as she read from a text and invoked "Away, black dog!" This turned out to be text by Jude Cowan Montague, one of the artists, as read by Jo Roberts, who also offered various potions for hair and skin. I did not require further moisturising, so did not partake. The installation was two-fold, two towers one in front of the other, with flickering lights (so there was electricity!) creating mesmerising patterns on the wall and the people gathered in the small space. Both artists, the other being Miyuki Kasahara, had taken inspiration from buildings, as well as transgressive women, to look at "how women express themselves in the face of societal persecution".

I suppose being sent to the tower holds its fears, but I felt quite relaxed as I made by way back down the stairs, past the flickering candles and out onto the street, enjoying the play of light on the puddles.

The Tower is on view Saturday afternoons through 5 June at St. John on Bethnal Green.

No comments: