Installation brings Deptford’s history to the foreground

Deptford Creek at low tide Pic: Alex Mahan

Deptford Creek at low tide Pic: Alex Mahan

The Intertidal Cinema took over a disused space in Deptford this week, exposing the history of the neighbourhood as part of the London Design Festival on September 13-15.

The site specific art installation, which featured a short film along with a series of photographs, was put on by Hannah Fasching, a former design student at Goldsmiths, University of London. The project brought visitors to a narrow footbridge overlooking Deptford Creek at low tide, reminding viewers of it’s industrial past.

Images of forgotten spaces and derelict buildings were shown, while voiceovers featured people who grew up, lived or worked in Deptford; high rise flats loomed in the distance as they spoke about rising property prices and gentrification.

Fasching, a former Goldsmiths student said: ”The voices of Deptford are used to animate various sites, the physical space takes on the voice of the social.”

Fasching's short film projected onto an archway beneath railway tracks Pic: Jessica Chia

Fasching’s short film projected onto an archway beneath railway tracks Pic: Jessica Chia

In addition to the short film, images were projected directly onto the waters below. Another set of photographs was shown on a mossy wall, and the plants lent a breath of life to the abandoned spaces depicted.

With residential buildings ahead, the creek below, and train tracks on both sides, the footbridge lay at the intersection of various structures while remaining wholly secluded.

A small crowd gathered each night of the installation, transforming the location into a social space as visitors lingered on to share their personal relationship with the area.

Garine Komchouian, 34, who works for a charity, lives just around the corner in Deptford. She attended the event on Sunday and Monday evening and said: “It gives you a closer connection to the river. The river looks derelict in the daytime- I never really thought of coming here at night but it feels quite magical.”

The Intertidal Cinema is a project that originated from Fasching’s Design course at Goldsmiths. The first screening took place in the coastal town, Burnham-on-Sea, with archival footage of the seafront projected onto a wall built to stop the incoming tide. After winning the Artisa Design Award, Fasching adapted the concept to London.

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