Oxford House in Bethnal Green
Oxford House (Oh!) is a community and art centre in the heart of London's East End. Oh! was originally established in 1884 by Keble College and the University of Oxford to provide a centre of religious, social and educational work among the poor of East London.
Today Oh! works to become known as the place where community & voluntary sector groups, arts organisations and social businesses come to work, learn, explore, create and celebrate.
Gallery, Association or society
Monday to Friday
9am to 10pm
10am to 2pm
Free admision -with exceptions for specific events
Sara Hannant’s Out of the Fire exhibition at Oxford House
- 3 — 30 November 2015 *on now
This beautiful and intriguing photographic installation re-enchants the power of fairy tales, as female characters from vintage Ladybird books are transformed through fire. The work reconsiders these iconic children’s books, opening up the narratives to reflect personal and cultural mythologies that bear a relationship to dreams, desires and memory.
Sara Hannant says, “The 1960s versions of fairy stories in Ladybird Books were hugely influential. Prompted to transform the images of female protagonists to tell a different story, I decided to use the unpredictable and exciting element of fire as an agent for change. As the pages burn, alternative images and text are revealed or juxtaposed. New stories emerge out of the fire.”
Out of the Fire references storytelling around the fire, while drawing inspiration from the ancient art of pyromancy – telling the future through fire. Diviners would record and interpret the interactions of significant objects in the fire, making predictions from their observations, which were known as oracle stories.
Fire—a symbol of hearth and home, destruction, trial, purging and purification— is both contradictory and dramatic. Its popular associations overlap the religious, secular and political. Presenting the books engulfed in flames consequently provokes unease. Yet this apparent destruction may also suggest the return of the original archetypal folk tales concerning rites of maturity from childhood to adulthood.
“Out of the Fire is deceptively multi-layered and the images are even more mesmerizing than a real fire would have been… The women seemingly respond to the flames, and while the gallant side in us might want to step in for the rescue, the feminist side might welcome the cathartic release that can make room for stronger role models.” Lens Culture 2015
3 - 30 November 2015
Opening 5th November 6pm-9pm
Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am to 10pm Weekends: 10am to 2pm
Oxford House Gallery, Bethnal Green, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG
About Sara Hannant:
Sara Hannant is an artist, photographer, and lecturer. Her book and exhibition Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year received runner-up Katharine Briggs Award in 2012 and is a Horniman Museum touring exhibition. Forthcoming book and exhibition projects for 2015 include Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from the Museum of Magic and Witchcraft published by Strange Attractor Press. Contact: email@example.com
- Any age
Oxford House in Bethnal Green
020 7739 9001