1:19pm Wednesday 7th March 2012
By Anne James
This substantial body of new photographs documents the demise of the hospital and its associated buildings. Photographer Rob Judges has worked in digital over the past two years to capture the many facets of the demolition and the, often poignant, detritus left in the wake of the destruction.
All the work is untitled. One illustration summarises the spirit of the show: once an important part of the management of the eye theatres, we see a white chart no longer of use or used, apart from the valedatory message scrawled across it.
Judges photographs interiors from the outside of the buildings and the outside from within. In two juxtaposed pictures one shows a ward occupied only by institutional chairs, the other a workman carrying those chairs out to who knows where.
Some of the images possess an abstract quality: fractured panes of glass create diagonal lines and unlikely rhomboids; a grey-brown stain takes on miasmic qualities, superimposed by the imprint of the soles of two workmen’s boots.
There is poignancy too. The Infirmary has touched the lives of so many of us. Sometimes happily, but often, in pain and sorrow. But this is not a melancholy exhibition, rather it documents how a large and complex institution, a hospital, is disposed of, the huge scale of that and the associated detail of such an operation.
The exhibition includes one picture of the new beginning: the cutting of the turf. Here the site is tidy, the remaining buildings providing the background and context for the work that is about to start. Six shiny spades are lined up leaning against a rail, waiting for their workmen to claim them and start the new beginning of this historic site.
The exhibition at Art Jericho is open Wednesday to Sunday, continuing until March 23.
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