Tales without words, the little book Adventures in the Lea Valley, published by Hoxton Mini Press in 2016, presents photographs taken by Polly Braden and David Campany. It resembles both a travel journal and a personal diary. The images were produced with a shared camera and photometer. They are the result of many a moment spent exploring various stretches of the Lea Valley. The River Lea originates north of London. It flows through east London where it meets the River Thames. The ‘green and humid world’ of the Lea Valley is a hybrid zone where the diversity and the unexpected encourage wandering. There is a curious blend of small factories and abandoned buildings, rubbish tips and natural reserves, social housing and smart flats, football pitches and golf courses… The two English photographers seek as much to describe a place as to record experiences. Part of this abandoned area, taken over by recreational activities, was extensively revamped prior to the Olympic Games 2012 witnessing the acceleration of gentrification brought on by this event. Polly and David’s photographs, landscapes and portraits, flirt at times with the tradition of social realism. Certain images are reminiscent of those taken along the former A1, The Great North Road, by Paul Graham, others feature, not dissimilar to Jeff Wall’s paintings, people lingering, or even waiting for dialogue. These photographs, of incidents and encounters, are also visual constructions that form and unravel the link between observation and production of photographic images to describe social contradictions, the eventuality of a place and its alterability.
Fondation A Stichting
Av. Van Volxem, 304 bte 1
1190 – Brussels
tel: +32 (0)2 502 38 78
From Thursday to Sunday: 13.00 – 18.00
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Visits by appointment outside opening hours can be arranged
Students, teachers, seniors, job seekers: 2€
Children under 12: free
Guided visits (20 people)
School groups: free (by reservation)
Adults groups: 25€ + 2€ per person
Tram: 82 & 97, WIELS stop
Bus: 49 & 50, WIELS stop
Train: Brussels South (‘Midi’) Station
Car: Exit 17, Anderlecht Industrie, direction Centre-Albert
Accessible to wheelchair users
In October 2012, the Fondation A Stichting opened its doors in south Brussels on the site of the former Bata factories. Created upon the initiative of Astrid Ullens de Schooten, and recognized as a promoting the public interest, it has a vocation to support the creation, knowledge, and preservation of the photographic image.
The Foundation organizes three temporary exhibitions each year, accompanied with workshops on reading and writing the image designed for youths and children. High-school and university students are invited to come and engage in dialogue with the artists during their visits, Premières Découvertes. The Fondation is settled in a formerly industrial area of the town which has gradually been transformed into a residential neighborhood with many sites devoted to artistic creation. As a cultural actor, the Fondation’s desire is to participate in the life of this neighborhood. A genuine platform devoted to the photographic image, the Fondation A Stichting also works toward forming partnerships for exhibition and book projects organized in collaboration with Belgian and international cultural institutions.
Découverte is in part financed by the sales of exhibition entry tickets and catalogues. This program offers, among other things, meetings with the invited artists, guided visits, reading workshops and workshops on writing the photographic image. For schools and associations devoted to children and adolescents, the exhibitions and guided visits are accessible free of charge.
During the Premières Découvertes children, pupils, and students are invited to come and meet the artist a little before the opening of the exhibition. In these moments of intense and spontaneous exchange, the artist will talk about his life, his photographical work, and reply to people’s questions.
Astrid Ullens de Schooten
director - programming - curator
assistant - reception
reception - technical departement
Steve Corcoran, Wouter Meeus, Beryl Muller, Charlotte Woilliez, Louise Jabonowska, Brice Matthieussent
With the support of
- Fondation Engie
- Vander Haegen & C°
- Banque de Luxembourg