Charles Church House
Heron, Fergus (2007) Charles Church House Tate Britain, London, UK.
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Heron’s topographic enquiry addresses the representation of landscape and architecture in relation to history, memory and perception. Four photographs from Heron’s research project ‘Charles Church Houses’ were selected for inclusion in How We Are: Photographing Britain, the first major exhibition of photography held at Tate Britain (2007). Curated by Professor Val Williams and Susan Bright, the exhibition is an investigation into how photographers have represented Britain. Williams and Bright contributed essays that reference Heron’s images, along with texts by Martin Parr, Gerry Badger and Kevin Jackson, in an accompanying illustrated catalogue published by Tate Publishing (ISBN 978-1-85437-714). ‘Charles Church Houses’ is an extended series of photographs representing modern detached executive family houses, located in parts of the ‘commuter belt’ around London. The research questions how tensions between perceptions of tradition and modernity, culture and nature in the domestic built environment can be represented by photography. The work draws upon and references histories of both landscape photography and the photograph as a document used in forms of conceptual art. Semiotic theory further informs the production of the photographs, focusing upon complex illusions of spatial and temporal confluences. These are embodied by particular architecture, landscaped gardens and vehicles that constitute the dominant subjects of the photographs. Heron’s methodologies seek to synthesise historical and contemporary practice with theory. He uses large format camera technology in overcast daylight to register detail and to achieve a consistent viewpoint between subjects. Heron’s photographs were featured as part of an exhibition review in the Daily Telegraph by Benjamin Secher (2 August 2007) and in the Observer magazine (29 April 2007).
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