An architectural icon of 1960s New-Brutalism in the East End and its current inhabitants. A large format film camera. An hour in November 2010. Ten exposures. One image. This is The Balfron Project.
Not only did [DoR] take part in photographing event (a really fun evening to get the community together) but on Thursday we went along to the Bow Arts Trust to see the final photograph- beautifully displayed in the Nunnery- the photograph was lit like an ancient shrine at the end of the tunnel like, cavernous gallery.
Conceived by artist Simon Terrill, this project does not seek to fictionalise nor expose the lives of those who call the tower home. What The Balfron Project has done, for the first time since the building’s inception, is to generate an arena for reciprocal viewing. For one hour in November, a camera was focused on the tower and the current residents of Balfron Tower were invited to be in the picture, in the manner of their choosing. Film lights illuminated the building as people crowded onto their balconies and improvised performances on the grounds below in time for the designated sound cue that was used to announce the next shot. In this representation of the Balfron Tower, it was the role of the character to compose the subject.
The Balfron Tower is the latest production in Simon Terrill’s ongoing series of photographic performance events exploring ideas of community and the nature of crowds. The final mural-sized photograph features in the exhibition alongside related works and documentary footage by Ollie Harrop and Tim Bowditch.