Our judges awarded Gold in the Series category to Roelof Bakker
for this series of images which depict the contents of a council strong-room storing old blueprints.
"The six photographs I entered are part of ‘Still
', a photography and video project exploring the vacated interior spaces at Hornsey Town Hall, a North London municipal Modernist Grade II listed building which hasn't been in public use since the 1980s," he told us. "The photographs were taken in 2010 and a selection of photographs and a video film were exhibited inside Hornsey Town Hall itself in November 2010.
"I was originally struck by the exterior of Hornsey Town Hall which reminded me of 1930s Dutch architecture. I was drawn to the mysterious vastness and diversity of spaces that seemed to bear witness to varied traces of human life since the 1930s.
"These images show the contents of a strong-room storing council blueprints dating from 1935 to 1965. The room had remained untouched for 45 years and was a perfect time capsule. When I entered, it felt as if life had been frozen all those years ago. I was particularly drawn to the hand-written labels, part of a meticulously attended filing system, now obsolete. After I photographed this space, the contents were moved to a modern storage facility."
The submitted photographs are part of a larger body of work taken in this particular location, call 'The Strong Room (Archive)'.
Most of Roelof's photographic and video work is still-life based and are recordings of discoveries he makes or ideas he generates as he wanders around his "adopted city" London. "As part of my practice as an artist photographer and video maker, I record chanced-upon still-lives and juxtapositions of both the modern and the past world as well as the humorous forgotten event," he said.
Self-taught, Roelof uses a variety of both analogue and digital photographic and video equipment."I'm mainly work on my own art projects," he said, "but I have done a number of small commissions, including a series of interiors and still lifes for Dennis Severs House in Folgate Street, London E1. I would welcome commissions from small museums or locations with interesting interiors and would particularly be interested in a relevant artist residency."Roelof
has created a new video work 'Wanderlust' which was first shown 7/8 May 2012 as part of Crouch End Open Studios and he is looking to show this work in London and beyond. "I'm putting together a fiction-meets-art book with a number of writers using photographs from 'Still' as inspiration, and I'm contributing a new video work to a group show in Unit 24 in July," he told us. "I have completed a body of work for the Haringey Olympiad to be exhibited in 2012, and a number of other photography and video-based projects are in progress. I intend to do more collaborations and group shows in the future."