The charity Chiswick Pier Trust will host artist Julia Fullerton-Batten to discuss her work on an ‘Old Father Thames’ series of fine art photography, as part of the trust’s ‘Talks by the Thames’ events tomorrow night.
The German-born artist and Chiswick resident created the series to tell river-based stories from a wide variety of eras.
She has worked as an independent fine-art photographer for many years and lives near the river with her husband and two sons.
The winner of International Photographer of the Year at the Sony World Photography Awards earlier in 2021, she was inspired by extraordinary, historically-accurate stories of the ‘hustle and bustle’ in everyday life along the River Thames.
Fullerton-Batten said: “Very often I walk around Chiswick and when there is a spring tide the streets are overflowing with water. The water and open space are what connects me: the closest that I feel to nature.
“My style of photography is very cinematic and staged. I recreate stories with cinematic lighting, a large team of assistants, costumes, props and makeup – the list is endless.”
The artist took up rowing and became a member of the Chiswick Pier Trust to learn more about the history of people living near the River Thames.
Moreover, the traditional Frost Fairs on the River Thames became a recurrent theme which fascinated her.
She said: “I felt that I could learn more about the river by being with the people that are interested in the river themselves.
“In 1814, an African elephant was paraded over the frozen Thames for entertainment. It was the last frost fair and they even had printing presses were brought on to the ice to print souvenirs for people who had visited them.
“We had to make the river look like it was frozen, like you really felt like you were on the ice. It was something that I wanted to create from the beginning of the project three years ago. In the end I created it with special effects in an enormous drive in a studio in London.”
Kate Vick, PR and marketing officer at Chiswick Pier Trust, said: “’Talks by the Thames’ is a varied programme which we hope educates, informs and most of all inspires people to come to the Thames, walk its banks, and enjoy all that London’s most wonderful natural landmark has to offer.
“Fullerton-Batten’s work captures so many different moments of the river’s history. The images are evocative while being immediate, beautifully detailed while at the same time having a theatrical sweep and vision. She’s very talented.”
Fullerton-Batten will be interviewed by mudlark Jason Sandy at Chiswick Pier Trust tomorrow (Tuesday 27 April) at 7.30 pm.
Tickets for the live webinar are available in advance from chiswickpier.org.uk.