Fallen & Felled

195 Mare Street

September, 2023

We aspire for our pieces to exist in unusual spaces, for them to have an opportunity to respond to and be uplifted by their environment. We were excited when we came across 195 Mare Street, one of Hackney's oldest buildings and home to the Elizabeth Fry Refuge between 1860 and 1930. It is soon to be restored as a family home and community arts venue. New owners, Elizabeth and her family, generously let us use the space before renovation.

This astonishing building has a long and complex history, and the surfaces have captured this incredibly well. One of the most important details is that, despite its size and grandeur, it has provided a home and refuge for many people; it is a live-in domestic space.

In anticipation of our photoshoot, we became preoccupied with ideas of texture and modes of display. We wanted to create work that used materials that reflected the rich surface textures that have accumulated over the years, producing and using pieces that feel both grand and humble.

We were fortunate to collaborate with Flow Gallery on this project. Flow carefully curates contemporary craft makers, focusing on the handmade and the personal. They build upon the traditional notion of passing down loved items through the family. We selected pieces from their collection by makers who engage with surface textures and the idea of layers and history, which we thought would have a relationship with the space at Mare Street.

It was a privilege and a challenge to make the most of the space. It was such a pleasure to hear about the history of the building from Elizabeth and their plans for its future. We look forward to seeing how it evolves.


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© 2023 James Trundle & Isobel Napier