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Architectural Views: Industrial Evolution

An exhibition of photography by Robin Forster

16 September - 10 October, 2010

Opening Reception: Thursday 16 September, 2010 | 6.30 to 8.30pm

A London Design Festival Partner Event

Robin Forster, Untitled (Khromtau I), W 1143 x H 762 mm, Metallic digital C-type print

Bicha Gallerys second annual Architectural Views – a partner exhibiton of the London

Design Festival 2010 – highlights recent location work of English photographer Robin

Forster. The show captures the startling scale and disturbing beauty of the industrial

architecture, infrastructure and landscapes within the metal processing centres

of Central Asia – the mighty powerhouse of the former Soviet Union.

These industrial sites have gone through an evolution from what was once a powerful

communist state – itself created by a revolution. Set up as part of the communist

machine to provide essential raw materials for the whole of the population of the

USSR, one could argue they have changed little over the years. In fact, most of

the technology dates back to the industrial revolution, the chemistry is the same

regardless of who pushes the buttons.

Yet they have evolved to providing metals for the world markets under private

ownership with more and more emphasis on the environmental aspects of

their production. These amazing assemblages above and below ground, all perform

primary functions necessary for the extraction of raw metals. We all depend on these

for our daily lives whether we agree or not with the resulting damage to our planet.

Robin Forster, Untitled (Vostochny I), W 1143 x H 762 mm, Metallic digital C-type print

The images have resonance with photographers such as the Bechers, who always

photographed in a straightforward “objective” point of view. Former students of Bernd

and Hilla Becher include Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, and Candida Höfer. Industrial

structures are portrayed here, not only in stark black and white but in brilliant

colour. The processes and function of each site do not appear to have halted for the

photographer. They are almost snap shots of an industrial moment, an occluded view

of some large, mysterious and unfathomable machine performing an undisclosed

function! We only get part of the picture, the rest is up to our imaginations.

We are confronted by the conflict between the beauty of the image on lush metallic

photographic paper and the reality of the often destructive and polluting processes

involved. The intricate physical structures, their function at times obscured or totally

hidden, bask amongst vibrant colours and unseen operatives. Gangways and staircases

give way to rail tracks and winding roads. Brightly lit pathways disappear into murky

depth of the industrial unknown. Do these provide a way out of this industrial abyss

or is the only hope to find refuge in the beauty that is presented in these images?

Curriculum Vitae


Goldsmiths College, MA Fine Art


Central St Martins School Of Art, Graphic Design


Sir John Cass School Of Art, Foundation


Heriot-Watt University, MEng Petroleum Engineering


Leeds University, BSc Mining Engineering

Solo Projects


17th Century Landscapes Re-Seen, Kensington Palace, London (On Going)


Under Wraps, National Trust and Historic Royal Palaces, UK (On Going)



Transformation, Torstraße 95, Berlin


Architectural Landscapes, Gallery Judin, Berlin


Architectural Landscapes, Architectural Gallery, Zurich


Kazakhstan Industrial Project, Kazakhstan


Coastal Profile Project, Australia and New Zealand


Commission for G Hager, Landscape Architect,

Switzerland and Germany


MOMA Ice Blink, London, Funded by the Arts Council for England

Group Projects


Grizedale Forest Gallery, Cumbria


Bicha Gallery, London


Crane Kaleman Gallery, Brighton

Solo Projects as Barrett-Forster


Prowler Project Space, Wreck! London


Catto Contemporary I’m Desperate…Love Me! London


North Melbourne Town Hall, Bad Things

(Collaboration With Finucane/Smith)

Funded: British Council, Arts Council for England,

Australia Council, Melbourne City Council, Northern Arts UK

& Sydney Mardi Gras, Green Rooms Bad Things, Manchester


Metro Cinema Anamorph London


Australian Centre For Photography, Vertigo, Sydney

Funded: Australia Arts Council, British Council,

Sydney Mardi Gras

Museum Of Installation, Blow, London

Castlefield Gallery, Vertigo, Manchester


Cambridge Darkroom Gallery, Vertigo, Cambridge


Harvey Nichols, Department Store Windows, London


Rear Window Gallery, Trading In Futures, London

Private Collections

Public Collections

Nancy Archillies, San Francisco

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

John Cox And John Hayes, London

FNAC, Paris

Liz Dewhurst, London

Duke University, North Carolina USA

Pedro Girao, London

City Of Senigalia, Italy

Guido Hager, Zurich And Berlin

John Kobal Collection, London

David Jensen, Los Angeles


For further information, text or images, please contact António Capelão.

Bicha Gallery, 7 Gabriels Wharf, South Bank, London SE1 9PP

Gallery +44 (0)20 7928 0083 | E |

Open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am till 7pm

Bicha Gallery | Architectural Views: Industrial Evolution | 16 September -10 October, 2010

An exhibition of photography by Robin Forster

020 7928 0083, 7 Gabriel’s Wharf, South Bank, London SE1 9PP | 11 am - 7pm Tues-Sun

Tube: Waterloo, Embankment, Covent Garden, Southwark.