Kings Cross Stories

Blueprint Review May 5, 2010 by: Lucie Hepton
Artist and photographer Minnie Weisz’ most recent exhibition explores London’s Kings Cross, in collaboration with costume and set designer Caroline Collinge. The show is at Minnie Weisz’ studio, which is situated under a Victorian Arch on Pancras Road.
The work focuses on the architecture of Kings Cross, photographing the abandoned and derelict remains of Victorian buildings and in turn revealing stories from its history. The exhibition builds on Weisz’ fascination with the past, a feature of many of her recent works. Including revisiting the now demolished Culross building with an ex-resident to hear his memories. This is the first fine art exhibition for Caroline Collinge, and the first collaboration between the two artists.
Throughout the works on display there are continuous references to bones and teeth, with skeleton-like structures reflecting the carcass of Victorian Kings Cross and the memories within. Collinge explores a range of materials, including paper folding using old maps and pages from books, shaping them into costume, forms and structures using origami techniques as well as a large-scale crinoline bone. Both artists describe their collaboration as a natural meeting of vision and understanding. The derelict areas they explored could have seemed unwelcoming, but the two artists developed and produced a fantasy impression of what might have otherwise become an impersonal tour of abandoned spaces.
Each night throughout the exhibition films will be shown in the window of the Minnie Weisz gallery for the “stray dogs, passersby and streetwalkers” that roam Kings Cross. The opening night reception featured a reading by visionary writer Aidan Andrew Dun, known as the Poet of Kings Cross. He read from Vale Royal (1995), a verse poem in two cycles and a haunting narrative that seems to grasp the core of London, which he claimed took him 23 years of consideration. The poet, who had the appearance of a Rolling Stone type rock star, tapped his foot to the beat of his literature as the audience stood mesmerised with the story. It was the fitting experience for a reflective evening, and the exhibition was an appropriate tribute to the long history and bright future of Kings Cross.
The display was part of the Reveal festival, a ten day series of events and exhibitions in and around the Kings Cross area.