Back in the autumn of 2015 I was contacted by one of the trustees of the Turner’s House Trust, who had read in an article that I was a great admirer of J.M.W. Turner’s landscape painting. He asked me if I was aware of the restoration project of Turner’s House in Twickenham, and would I like to contribute in some way. I immediately thought I could help in my capacity as a photographer, and so a plan was hatched, and in March of this year, just days before the restoration work was due to commence, the Trust kindly granted me the great honour of two days access to the house.
I wanted to approach the work in a simple and honest way, and so decided to work purely with natural light, with the single aim of capturing the atmosphere of the house. Turner’s work, for me, is all about drama and the play of light and colour, and I’ve aimed to capture the spirit of that in these photographs. All the work was shot using available light, on the ALPA 12 MAX / PhaseOne IQ180 combo, with ALPA HR Alpagon 32mm SB17 lens.
“Sandycombe Lodge was built by 1813 to the designs of England’s great landscape painter, J.M.W. Turner, working here as his own architect to create a quiet retreat for himself, away from the pressures of the London art world. It also provided a home for his father, old William, in retirement from his trade as a barber and wigmaker in Covent Garden, and with old William’s declining health and changes in his own life, Turner sold the house in 1826
Turner’s House Trust intends to restore Sandycombe Lodge and make it available for all as a living reminder of J.M.W. Turner’s life in Twickenham and its influence on his art; 2013 marked the bicentenary of this building, a three-dimensional work by an artist renowned in his time and celebrated internationally today.
The house has had unsympathetic additions and is in a run-down condition. Turner’s House Trust intends to restore it to its original appearance and make it a monument to Turner in Twickenham. Once restored, the house will open to the public and allow visitors to explore a small but beautiful building, with fascinating stories to tell”
For more information on the history and restoration of Sandycombe Lodge, and the Turner’s House Trust, go here. You can also find information, including drawings, on Butler & Hegarty’s web site, the project’s architects, here.
Below is a small selection of the work that I made over the two days that I spent in the house, followed by some behind the scenes images. More work can be found here.
Images shown courtesy of Turner’s House Trust.