Let your boat of life be light
Victorian England, in the late 19th century was a place of contrasts with the desire for industrialisation, the growth of the railways, the building of the Firth of Forth Rail Bridge, and further afield the magnificence of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris.
Massive urban poverty existed in the less affluent population, there was disparity between the classes; strikes by the Match girls (1888) due to poor working conditions, education was seen as a privilege for the upper classes even though the schooling age was raised to 13 years with so few able to attend, as child employment was rife.
A new growing desire to seek pleasure away from the squalor and poverty. The West End saw the openings of new concert halls, whilst the East End of London saw brutal murders by Jack the Ripper.
The river Thames was opening as a place of leisure an opportunity to divert oneself from ‘the hum drum day to day living’ - shifting the outlook on the river from industry to pleasure…Boating became a past time for all classes.
Anderson has chosen to examine this time piece as there is an ability to draw parallels with today’s modern society post pandemic of the 21st century and with the upsurge in seeking outdoor solace and a craving for leisure past times today; rowers, dog walkers, cyclists, runners, families, individuals all seeking time out in nature.
Anderson interpres aspects of this journey through an installation using cyanotype printing, printmaking, textiles and reinterpretation of archival images, and use of found objects - my aim is to conjure up a sense of communing with nature.
Jermone hired a boat at Turks Boat yard in Kingston, after travelling from London to start on his two-week adventure with two friends to Oxford and this escapade was captured in Three Men and a Boat. Turks Boat yard still operates today offering pleasure seekers a chance to explore the Thames.
Further work of her can be seen in the current exhibition Creative Flow, ‘Idylls of the Self’ is based on the Pre-Raphaelite painting of Ophelia (partly painted along the Hogsmill river).
Visit Louise Anderson's webiste for more information.
"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing."