Paper Nautilus 77-79 Southern Row
25th & 28th October 2012
Kitty Stirling and Magdalena Groszek have brought thirty three artists together to create a two-day exhibition event. Their individual metiers, moving toward collaboration and mutual interaction, include installation, painting, film, photography, drawing, ceramics, sound and performance.
Southern Row in North Kensington was once an area well known for its slum housing. Waves of immigrants have arrived and settled here over the last century, many from the Horn of Africa and Eastern Europe. Housing prices have risen and the area, now considered exclusive and upmarket, is poised to be regenerated, making way for penthouse apartments for the rich, together with a new cross rail station.
Sold and soon to be demolished, the adjoining and lone Victorian houses at 77-79 Southern Row tell their own fascinating history through the palimpsests of time, their rooms a maze of retro 70's decor and industrial relic.
They were acquired in 1979 by two inventor/scientists, Alek Groszek and Charles Templer. In no. 79 the two friends set up a laboratory for scientific research and an equipment manufacturing business which ran for thirty three years. Microscal Ltd made precision instruments, including Groszek's groundbreaking invention, the Microcalorimeter, used worldwide to measure heat exchanges at the surfaces of things. Also housed in No. 79 was a printmaking and papermaking business, the Nautilus Press run by Jane Reese, wife of Charles Templar. Adjoined inside, No. 77 was the home of the Templars until they died, since when it has fallen into a state of collapse.
Shorn of their original contents, (the printmaking archive was recently sold to form Book Arts Trust in Hackney Wick) and inspired by these three dynamic inventor/artists, these buildings are now, albeit briefly, a catalyst for artistic exchange, generating a new and different form of heat.
Link to images