Since 2012, The House of Saint Barnabas has found itself situated directly above the excavation works for the new Crossrail tunnels. Given its status as a Grade I listed structure, it has been carefully surveyed and surveilled for any subsidence caused by the digging below.
In order to monitor this possibility, discreet but ever-present signs and devices have been applied to the exterior of the building, allowing lasers to map the building’s precise position. These targets and prisms have become part of the character and history of the building.
Navine G. Khan-Dossos brings this language of surveying and the symbols of Crossrail’s presence into the decoration of the house, making them the subject of her new works. Khan-Dossos’ paintings sit between the functional and the purely aesthetic, drawing attention to the pervasive presence of these markers on the monuments and buildings of today’s cities while suggesting that, in time, their meaning too might be forgotten.
A Year Without Movement is an exhibition of site-specific wall paintings that look to these markings for inspiration. The title refers to a period of fertile stasis as the building waits for a full twelve-month period without any kind of movement, after which is can be declared structurally stable.
A Year Without Movement is kindly supported by NOME Gallery (Berlin) and Luca Barbeni and CW Plant Hire.
The work is accompanied by a conversation between the artist and Deborah Lazarus, a structural engineer who has worked in Arup’s Advanced Technology and Research group. Lazarus worked directly with a number of historic buildings in the path of Crossrail’s tunnel project, including the House of Saint Barnabas.
The work will be on view from July 2017 until July 2018.