Guest exhibition

Wed 19 June 2024 – Sat 22 June 2024

EBB TIDE - Mudlarking finds from the River Thames

Ebb-Tide is a new body of work from artist Michael Thomas in collaboration with mudlark Monika Buttling-Smith.

It is an abridged record of ten years of finds from the Thames foreshore by Monika, that comprises over 100 individual photographic works.
Photographic prints are shown with accompanying objects from Monika’s collection dating from Roman Britain up to the present day.

The works show mostly ordinary objects, common in their time, discarded by their owners, washed by the tidal Thames.
The photographs are emotional responses to the objects rather than forensic representations.

They are photo-grams rather than photo-graphs, using transparency and silhouette to transform the familiar.
Michael’s technique gives an unusual outline and vibrancy to the objects, their strange rendering causing the viewer to re-evaluate the objects.

Each object suggests its own narrative and emotional resonance. Collectively the works can be read as a symbolic shorthand. They tell the story of two millennia of Thames history, showing the surfaces, shapes and energy brought to bear upon the objects by the river; The distortions of time and tide, the patination, delamination, oxidisation and transfiguration that the river imparts.

Like the medium of photography, the objects are tokens of a fixed time and place - They allude to a past life and a possible narrative, whilst being before us in the present - showing fixity, permanence, and evidence of their journey in time.

Open 11.00 - 18.00 Weds 19 June - Saturday 22 June