Anabasis to Dora 2
Talks and tours
Somerset House Studios

Anabasis to Dora curated by Eloise Hawser

April, May, June – dates / booking details TBA
Locations vary

'Anabasis to Dora' is a programme of multi-site visits curated by artist Eloise Hawser, based on research into unusual and contested spaces, museums and collections around the UK.

Visual artist and Studios resident Eloise Hawser completes her off-site series exploring unusual industrial sites, museums and collections around the UK with three new excursions. With participants invited to collectively document the field trip and share via a dedicated site online, the series includes the Transport for London Control Centre, Crossness Pumping Station in Thamesmead, a Victorian sewage treatment plant, and Somerset House itself.

The next trips in the Anabasis to Dora series will focus on industrial and infrastructural sites, beginning with an out-of-use Victorian pumping station and contemporary, active sewage treatment works in Crossness in Thamesmead . These site visits present, cheek by jowl, a slice of historical civic engineering and the present – and future – of London’s infrastructure.

Anabasis to Dora 1a

From Eloise:

‘In visiting sites of large-scale civic engineering, we witness the meeting point of different historical moments, and observe the values and socio-industrial visions of different eras made manifest. Due to their intractable, geographically fixed nature, they are not subject to the same flux and fashion as the visible architectural epidermis of the city. The Victorian sewage works at Crossness – adorned in ornate, richly painted ironwork – has been dubbed a ‘cathedral on the marsh’. It is both an expression of grand nineteenth-century ambition and a fundamentally utilitarian structure serving the most unglamorous necessities of a human population.

The Victorians were concerned with the adornment of their engineering projects, today we deploy cutting-edge technologies. There is little ceremonial or euphemistic in our modern approach; we don’t worry about compensatory decoration or “noble” frontages. These visits will allow us to think through just such comparisons, and to reflect upon what huge-scale, expensive projects reflect about our society; about our concerns, values and self-image. They will provide a chance to compare, side-by-side, the divergences and continuities between the past, present, and future’.

Dates and booking details for all three trips will be announced shortly.