Where: Oxford House in Bethnal Green
When: from the 2nd to the 30th of April
Over the past two decades Mary Fitton has been visiting the Thames (Rotherhithe) at low tide to explore and to photograph. Struck by the distinctive effects of the river’s ebb and flow on discarded domestic trivia – bottles, footwear, toothbrushes to technology old and new, video tapes, keyboards, mobile phones – Mary began p
hotographing the ephemera in situ and more recently collecting it.
She has returned many times to Rotherhithe’s accessible tidal stretches, slowly building up a unique photographic picture of the river’s flotsam and jetsam, elevating the everyday into powerful, wistful images.
“There’s a human narrative of how these things – this telephone or that radio – found their way into the Thames. Visually, the varying effects of time and water are fascinating, the objects attain a certain beauty and poignance. When I photograph them as if a still life or portrait, they take on a different presence.”
Mary studied sculpture at Art College and has maintained a lifelong interest in the visual world, working in a range of artistic fields from illustration and prop making to photography. She is a musician, plays the ukulele and was (once upon a time) an original member of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. In recent years she has worked for Islington Libraries.
Originating from the Potteries, she is a lifelong Stoke City supporter, and the proud inventor of the prototype ‘Oatcake’ hat: there are currently only three in existence.
Oxford House is a community and art centre based in the heart of London’s East End originally established in 1884 by Keble College and the University of Oxford. Oxford House is now home to several organisations and provides a variety of spaces for artistic development. OH is a registered charity.