Dennis Severs House, Spitalfields, London 2013
Commissioned by The Museum of British Folklore for Dennis Severs House. The work consisted of 10 mechanical raree boxes (peep shows), one for each room in the house. By turning handles and pulling levers viewers were able to animate the contents of the boxes each of which explored a particular London ritual or folktale.
The complete absence of electric light in the house helps create the building’s unique atmosphere. During daylight hours the windows allow varying degrees of illumination depending on the weather outside but at night the house is lit entirely with candles. This minimal lighting coupled with the tiny scale and enclosed nature of the boxes made photography and filming very difficult but I hope the following images give some indication of how the show worked.