The world famous setting of the Arnolds Circus, in the Boundary Estate is the location for Artists 100 Artfair with the A Foundation, Bill Leslie, The Albion, Arnold & Henderson, The Arts Council of England, Awards For All, Bishopsgate Foundation, Calvert 22,Canary Wharf Group, Cowling & Wilcox, Foodcycle, Friends of Arnold Circus, Garfield Weston, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Joule, The Live Art Development Agency, London Borough of Tower Hamlets Arts and Events, Spitalfields Music and a part of Create 10 * The Big Lunch
The Arnold Circus Sharing Picnic is a great opportunity to visit one of the most historically fascinating locations in contemporary London, take a look around at some unique and creative artforms, performative and environmental, witness the thrilling 100 lap Art Vehicle rally around the circus with artists Francis Thorburn and Richard Elliot, check out Rock-ahula, Tatty Divine, search party and Society of Wonders, do these things and draw a portrait in the revolutionary sorroundings of the worlds first social housing.
Events run all afternoon 19th 07 2010
Thank-you Arnold Circus, Home-Live-Art, Bill Leslie and all the friends we made on the 18th of July 2010.
Sunday 18th was a very sunny and busy day in Londons Arnold Circus where the beautiful – and as far as I’m aware – unique raised “birthday cake’ wedding cake” or elevated bandstand creates a totally central feature, the scenographic idea that ascention, (walking up a hill) is a significant sacred influence, from the top of a Tor, a man-made-contrivance, the Tatlin Tower or a pyramid they all imbue the visitor with particular stimulus that infers or creates spiritual dimensions. Scenographically the top of the Arnolds Circus Bandstand acquires a peculiar form of light, one that reminds me of the light around the Penwith Peninsular as the sun and clouds conspire over the sea to fetch up the extraordinary set of changeable nuance.
Alfred Watkins, a key exponent in the science of Ley Lines and Geomantic Power wrote a most fascinating study on the subject of dragon lines or ley lines and includes the Arnold Circus in his reckoning of the network of geotropic magnetics running from Londons Strand Ley and another he terms as The Coronation Ley.
The fact that this raised oasis is sorrounded by the red brick mansion block housing of the boundary road estate increases the specificity of the location, the effect like all ascents is uplifting and the various streets become more plan like and unfolded and therefore more legible to the viewer, the structure of the bandstand itself feels post colonial in its rural Englishness, like a church lytch gate beneath which the widest global influences mingle and confer, music from many cultures and periods, foods and domestic comestables, games and conversations all conspire with this beautiful seaside light to create a most memorable experience. The fact that the mound is a construct formed of the rubble from the pre housing scheme slum gives further specifity to the consciousness of this place. Uplifting.
The Boundary Estate was opened in 1900 in Londons’s East End right on the boundary of Shoreditch, Hackney and the Borough of Tower Hamlets, the Estate was constructed from 1890 and as one of the earliest social housing schemes deserves recognition as one of the most significant elements in the heritage of Britain, you could say that the implications for the Boundary Estate, architecturally and socially far outstrip those of the many lauded stately homes that are deemed exemplars of creativity and social development.
The Tedna Ve – Draw Me Installation is simply a big box camera, one that the person who is being sketched and the person making the sketch can walk into. The correct term is a Camera Obscura (chamber of darkness), usually employed as Landscape viewing device, the Tedna Ve is specifically employed for Portrature. Camera Obscuras are optical devices that project an image of the sorrounding scenographic terrain and projects this image onto an interior wall, It is used for drawing and for entertainment and for teaching since it was one of the precursors to photography. Of course the Tedna Ve is fitted with a lens but the original design used a pinhole reproducing an upside down image but retaining the perspective and colour, the image – once projected onto paper, can be drawn into or traced to produce a highly accurate representation, I don’t encourage artists to fuss during the use of the Tedna Ve as the upside down drawing process encourages the pen to wander off alone from the projected image, putting a bit more of the artist into the portrait.
As a pinhole is made smaller so it produces a sharper image but this takes a while for normal eyesight to adjust to the low light image. The earliest mention beyond Cornwalls frontiers about camera obscuras is attributed to Mo-Ti (470BC – 390BC) a Chinese philosopher and founder of Mohism, Mo-Ti referred to the camera obscura as a “collecting plate” or “Locked treasure room” The Mohist tradition is unusual in Chinese attitudes because it followed principles of total logic.
Aristotle (384BC – 322BC) demonstrated a good understanding of optical principles in pinhole occlusion – an account of him viewing the crescent shaped light pattern made from the partially eclipsed Sun as it projected a beam of light through domestic utensils onto the floor – such accounts humanise the historical dimension whilst questioning the vale of obfuscation that sorrounds contemporary science and medicine.
In the 6th C. Byzantine mathematician and architect Anthemius of Tralles ( celebrated designer of the Hagia Sophia) is acknowledged for his familiarity and use of the camera obscura in a range of unspecified experiments. Certainly one of the first recorded makers of camera obscura’s was Abu Ali Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haitham, born in Basra (965 – 1039 AD) He was known in the west as Alhacen or Alhazen, and known to experiment in his book about optical science.
Although credited to Ibn al-Haytham ( Alhazen 965 – 1039, the analogy of the camera obscura was known to early scholars, accidental artists at various moments in history including Mozi or Aristotle.
Euclid describes the effect of the camera obscura in his demonstrations featuring the nature of light travelling in straight lines. Ibn al-Haytham was bestowed with modesty as well as intelligence in his statement :’Et nos non inventimus ita” lat ‘We did not invent this” my translation simply realizes the mans sense of discovery in that it is a natural phenomenon rather than a mechanical device or some adapted contraption, so rare to find a humanist approach among those who love the credit for the work of others.
I’ve a half a mind to write Ibn al-Haytham’s wise words on the side of the Tedna Ve box as a tribute to a modest genius.