This October, a Victorian daylight photographic portrait studio in Hastings forgotten for over a hundred years, will re-open for one month only. Visitors will be invited to sit for portraits or to make selfies. Pets and props welcome.

The Memorial Studio is a rare survival. More than a thousand photographic portrait studios were established in the UK between 1839 and 1901. Fewer than two dozen are known to remain. Purpose built in 1864, The Memorial Studio was an attraction in Hastings for 54 years until 1918, then disappeared for 104 years. Among many other things it became storage for British Telecom, an insurance company office and a workshop making orthopaedic supports.

12201209054?profile=originalIn 2012, artist Beatrice Lacey took it over as her studio and removed the false ceiling that had long concealed the North skylight. In 2022 Beatrice invited photographers Alexander Brattell and Toby Shaw to collaborate in exploring, reviving and celebrating this exquisite space.

Visitors will be invited to become part of The Memorial Studio Project, a portrait record for future exhibition and publication. Toby Shaw and guest photographers will offer free individual and group sittings, to include a still or moving image file. Visitors will also be invited to contribute their own portraits and selfies made in the studio.

A changing exhibition in the studio’s waiting room will showcase The Memorial Studio’s activities and history, just as it did in the nineteenth century. The visit to the photographer’s studio, a formal and intimate moment of recording presence and identity for posterity in a way that also connects us with our past, is now in danger of becoming forgotten as a participatory event. An experiment with time, The Memorial Studio Project is inspired by the conditions of the past to record the present, creating memories for the future

 The Memorial Studio

12-5, Fridays to Sundays throughout October 2022. Free entry. 7 Cambridge Road, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 1DJ.

We apologise for no disabled access, there are three flights of stairs (originally the trade entrance. The main entrance in Robertson St no longer survives).

For further information see Photolacey.com

instagram @thememorialstudio2022 

Facebook The Memorial Studio 2022 


Beatrice Lacey: bea@laceyfineart.com / 07775 734874

Toby Shaw: tobyshaw.co.uk

Alex Brattell: alex@brattell.com (for hires images) / 07767 611388

On Monday 3rd October at 8pm there will be an informal lecture in Hastings on Victorian portraiture and The Memorial Studio. See photology.info

Part of PhotoHastings 2022. photohastings.org


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