Martin Lau: The Hermit and The Sleeping Beast

Photographs by Martin Lau

Soundtrack by Cos Chapman and Isnaj Dui

14th-24th October 2010

The Hermit and The Sleeping Beast comprises the first two installments of the ongoing series The Menagerie.
I have been fascinated by industrial vehicles such as the ones featured here for as long as I can remember. They are undoubtedly impressive in terms of engineering ingenuity, but I have been drawn to them by their aesthetic as much as by their technical qualities.
On the one hand they are “purely” utilitarian objects, but by virtue of the complex and exposed nature of their working parts, they take on an almost Baroque intricacy. It’s because of my deeply felt personal response to these machines that I consider these photographs to be intimate portraits.
The Soundtrack

Having previously had electroacoustic artists Cos Chapman and Isnaj Dui (Katie English) as guest performers at the opening of the Covered City exhibition, and feeling a great affinity between theirs and my work, I was delighted when they agreed to compose pieces specially for The Hermit and The Sleeping Beast, each musician depicting a separate character.
I then thought: why not a book that presents the images combined with a CD of the soundtrack? Coming from a background of making films, which has always integrated other disciplines and had spin-offs as diverse as novelisations and video games, it seemed natural to combine multiple art forms to result in a greater whole.
Ever the opportunist, I asked Cos and Katie to also record a collaborative piece for Covered City, that series of photographs also featuring in the book, thereby rounding out a complete soundtrack album.

Limited edition photo book and CD available

Private view: Thursday 14th October 6-9pm
Live soundtrack performance on opening and closing days
Viewing times by appointment: +44 (0) 7803 985 092
No:ID Gallery
31 Commercial Road
London E1 1LD
Read Peter Makinde’s interview with Martin Lau below

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