An opportunity arose for an interim installation as Kensington & Chelsea College was about to be redeveloped, the last chance to show artworks in this, the country’s first Adult Education Centre. With a grant from the borough council, we worked with Head of Fine Art Matthew Kolakowski to engage with former pupils of The Sloane School, that closed in 1970, originally the site of The Royal Exotic Nurseries, lending Hortensia Road its name in 1903.
This theme centred on the human condition, where memories are embedded in abandoned and reappropriated buildings, displaying public health posters, UrbEx from ephemera from long closed asylums and photography of a UN maternal health advocacy mission in Niger, complementing the forensic research of the local area by lead artist Linda Duffy. Being used a hospital during World War One was a key point in the building’s early history, after opening as a state-of-the art secondary school for 500 girls in 1908, equipped with modern laboratories, a domestic science room and a gymnasium occupying the area we were given to exhibit.
THE WAITING ROOM from the series Responses to Locations in Transition
Kensington & Chelsea College, Hortensia Road, London SW10
Garry Hunter for Fitzrovia Noir
Graham Carrick for Fitzrovia Noir
Alexandra Buhl (Denmark)
Linda Duffy (Australia)
Victor Lopes (Portugal)
Julia Solis (USA)
Assemblage, collage, illustration, painting, photography, readymade
“ Fitzrovia Noir has proven to be both creative and innovative in its curatorial role, investing time and energy in new ideas whilst remaining true to the original and intrinsic values that have created context and credibility”
Matthew Kolakowski, Head of Fine Art, Kensington & Chelsea College