Thursday 20th May 2021 to
Saturday 22nd May 2021
After recreating an aerial photo of Chatham Intra from 1920, writer and photographer Neil Thorne will present the two images together in a triptych with an account of his experience, exhibited in a High Street window.
“Some things change whilst others remain the same. Even within my lifetime, the towns I grew up in have changed dramatically and will no doubt continue to. It is the way of life, and however unfair it might sometimes be that certain landmarks we love and cherish fall by the wayside, it perhaps is the only way to make way for the future.
No more so did this become apparent when in roughly 2012, I came across an old photo showing the Intra area of Medway. Whilst in some regards it showed a familiar scene, it was very much different to what I knew, with sailing barges and paddle steamers on the river, the old covered Sun Pier and the built up, industrial Intra. Upon discovering it was taken in 1920 an idea popped into my head to take a second photo showing how the area had changed, one hundred years later.
It was something I had to wait eight years to achieve and due to the covid crisis nearly missed out, but taking off from Rochester Airport in October 2020, I finally got my chance. The experience of seeing my hometown from above will stay with me for the rest of my life and it is my hope that in another hundred years someone else might look upon my photo in wonder and wish to do the same…”
About the artist
As a writer and photographer, Neil Thorne feels privileged to be based in the Medway Towns. Being drawn to the stories in everything, he hopes to capture images that tell tales about what he sees. He has a fascination with taking candid photos of people going about their lives, from drinking tea to walking down the high street. Also, he loves shooting everything from the beautiful to the plain ordinary, showing the many faceted faces of these complex towns. It is his hope that in some small way he can capture the ever-changing landscape of Medway, preserving an insight of our time for future generations to look back upon and remember.”
Image credit: Neil Thorne, Medway Then and Now
Using your smart phones GPS technology, the new Dizzy O’Dare Audio Trails app will guide you on walks around Chatham Intra, triggering stories, poems, history and art based activities from local artists at specific locations, to inspire you, as you explore the area.
Young people’s stories, which imagine the historic Chatham Intra in 100 years’ time, will be seen and heard along the high street. What are their hopes, fears and dreams for the area in 2121?
Medway Dance Network will be exploring gender identity and the benefit of women cross-dressing to gain financial and employment privileges afforded to men during the 1920’s.
Nicola Flower's favourite shop in the whole of Medway is Zee Fashions & Fabrics. She's going to draw the women working in the shop and their customers and make a fanzine of their story.
Learn about the very first photographers in the Old High Street Intra area, their studios and images, and who occupies the same addresses today.
Salt Sweet - listen as submerged stories drawn from the Five Bells & Bath Hard Lanes area of Chatham Intra are layered with river sounds in a sonic rhythm that suggests the washing back and forth of the tides.
MESS ROOM invited people to strike a pose in April and donate their shadow, to be immortalised as a silhouette and feature on a series of banners for colourful street gallery, “Shadow Tales - Gallery of You!”, which will be displayed along the Old High Street Intra.
Taking inspiration from the rich history of Old High Street Intra, Shadow Tales will create silhouettes that tell a story and make for intriguing displays in windows and shop fronts.
Capturing the atmosphere of the Ebb & Flow Festival, to report a celebratory and specific moment in time through a series of drawings.
This commission explores the origins of the street names along the Chatham Intra, from the bottom of Star Hill to Sun Pier, through a series of black and white photographs.
Through the Porthole will give people the opportunity to decorate their own boat porthole, these are the round windows you find on boats!