Viewfinder show finds beauty in mundanity of School Run

By Culture24 Staff | 21 April 2009
A picture of people standing behind a door

(Above) Picture © Kelly Hill

Exhibition: School Run, Viewfinder Photography Gallery, Linear House, London, June 5 – 14 2009

The school run rarely proves a profound artistic experience for most parents, but photographers Kelly Hill and Jonathan Illingworth have used their supervisory commute – "the only time of day they find available" – to take shots in an ongoing project exploring alternating perceptions of identical routes and the passing of time.

Hill is an artist who often finds inspiration from her children. Her contribution to the recent 24:2009 show concentrated on the hospital maternity wing where she gave birth in 2001 and 2004, and safeguarding the future of children is a key theme in her work.

Hill will post a picture from her drop-off on her blog every day until January 2010 as "a way of exploring the everyday within the rigid constraints of a routine event."

A picture of plants and trees in a park

Picture © Jonathan Illingworth

"The school run is a mundane journey repeated many times – a universal ritual of the everyday," she suggests.

"I am exploring the very ordinary moments in life that may seem worthless, but form and shape our lives. The project is an experiment in looking – it is something and it is nothing.

"I am open to the chance encounters of daily existence. I am interested in how we mark and touch a place – and how the environment in which we find ourselves marks and touches us in return."

Jonathan Illingworth's pictures, taken on his walks through Plumstead Wood in southeast London, are "often darker and more macabre" than his fellow artist, and according to the gallery are captured more spontaneously.

"His approach is more one of chance, with equally startling results," says Curator Louise Forrester.

"This exciting exhibition is testament that what you see every day can always be interesting, and that a local environment can differ greatly from day to day."

Visitors can take on the challenge themselves in an accompanying workshop offering a walk through Greenwich or Deptford Creek on the search for environmental triumph or tragedy as part of Love London, a city-wide festival promoting sustainability in the capital.

Workshop runs June 14 2009, 1-4pm, admission £5 (free for Viewfinder members). Open to all levels, book at Viewfinder Online.

To find out more about Love London visit their website.

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