Karin was delighted to have been offered a solo exhibition by the Candid Arts Trust, Islington, London. This took place between 1st and 6th February 2011. Karin would like to thank Professor Dawn Ades for opening the private view and was honoured that Herr Cord Meier-Klodt, the German cultural attaché, attended.
The exhibits are of the de-commissioned Bankside Power Station before its conversion into Tate Modern and after the interior of this great cavernous building had been ‘washed down’ to remove asbestos dust. Resulting from this de-contamination process, every unpainted surface, every pipe had started to rust and looked like a work of art. Karin took hundreds of analogue photos of a mere detail. From the multiples of one, rarely two photos she then created an abstract image. These constructed images, mounted on sprayed board, explore through their formal layout and content the complexity of the building, its function and history that cannot be photographed. Images of machines appear to work; colours remind of age-old frescoes; pipes take on Romanesque forms linking the building to the great cathedrals of the western world; a puddle on a concrete gangway becomes an artwork on the floor, site-specific and testifying to the passing of time; pipes shape into the flowing river without which a power station cannot function. Karin also wanted each artwork to achieve via the medium of a single photograph the quality of, for example, a drawing (Gates), sculpture (The Turbine Triptych) or painting (The River).
There are some sixty artworks created over several years. Twenty-five of these were shown, as well as six experimental works unconnected with the Bankside Power Station cycle.
The Bankside Power Station, darkly lit and immense, seemed like an industrial cathedral. Karin decided on the formal element of the triptych to convey this quality and that the triptych would have to have as the central image the ‘turbine’. There was no one to ask and she had no idea where to find the turbine or indeed what it looked like. Then, deep in the bowel of the building, asbestos contaminated and closed to the uninvited, Karin stumbled on what she was then told were the turbine blades. She photographed a small section. From this shot and its multiples she created an imagined machine that in its detail is of the turbine. She placed it in the centre of this industrial altar. It is sufficiently not the turbine so that the viewer can have his own response. The completed abstract image has a beauty of its own.
The title refers to what is not in the photo: the river Thames at low tide. Instead I photographed the base of giant cylinders or pipes rising inside the tower.
The single photograph is of a gate at the South side of the Bankside Power Station. By repeating the same photograph I achieved a similar ‘concertina’ effect as well as the quality of a pencil ‘drawing’.