THE BARGEHOUSE HEYDAY
The Artist was awarded an Artist's Residency to make an installation for the National Open Art Competition (TNOAC 2017) held at The Bargehouse, OXO Tower Wharf 15th - 26th November 2017.
Historical research revealed that during his early reign in the 1520's, Henry VIII lived in Bridewell Palace immediately opposite on the other side of The Thames. The building known as the Bargehouse was simply named after Henry VIII's Old Barge House. He kept his 2 barges Greyhound and Lyon here.
The original building has long since gone, but The Museum of London excavations at the time of refurbishment of The OXO Tower Wharf discovered the foundations of a 16th Century building of commensurate size. Like wise the 'Old Kings Steps' shown on many old maps of the area were the King's access stairs leading directly to the water of the Thames. The King would have travelled frequently by River between Hampton Court Palace, Westminster, White Hall and The Tower etc. The Barges were in frequent use and were conspicuously decorated with Royal Ensigns and Streamers. The prestige and importance of the Royal connection would certainly have made The Bargehouse a colourful and bustling place.
The project commemorated the Heyday of the 'Old Barge House.' The threaded installation comprised a 'Time Cone' into which one of Henry's Royal Ensigns flashed into the present. The work became a vehicle for the Artist to play with some ideas in contemporary Theoretical Physics.
Ultimately she concluded that virtually anything can happen inside a 'Time Cone.'
The construction of the installation was recorded by time lapse photography and throughout the duration of the Artist's Residency it was witnessed as a work in progress by the TNOAC visitors. Ironically the word Heyday comes from Heyda - a 16th century word denoting good spirits or passion; an exclamation of joy and surprise, a word which Henry may well have used himself. The Bargehouse Heyday was only completed on the last evening of TNOAC after which it was documented and then completely taken down the next day on 27th November 2017.
The image captions help to illustrate somewhat tongue in cheek the Artist's version of the narrative behind the theory.