Projects

Estuary: Working Lives was developed during 2013, when Rachel Lichtenstein recorded the stories of those who have spent their working lives on the Thames Estuary; fishermen, tugmen, cocklers, river pilots and the first woman to work on the patrol boats to name a few. She journeyed along the river in different vessels, from a kayak to a Thames barge, to a sailing boat. Ambient sound recordings from the Estuary have been merged with edited excerpts from these oral history interviews, along with photographic portraits by James Price, to create this short film.

Shorelines 2013 was curated by acclaimed writer Rachel Lichtenstein and took place in various outdoor and indoor venues at the heart of the fishing community of Leigh-on-sea on the banks of Thames Estuary, at the point where it officially becomes ‘open sea’.
 

The jewellery quarter of Hatton Garden is one of London’s most mysterious areas: home to diamond workshops, underground vaults, monastic dynasties, subterranean rivers and forgotten palaces. The Diamond Street App is your passport to this fascinating hidden world. Here you’ll meet sewer flushers, artists, goldsmiths, Hasidic diamond dealers, geologists and visionaries, as Rachel Lichtenstein (author of Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton Garden) gathers a cast of local characters to help uncover the history, secrets and stories that bring this vibrant Clerkenwell street and its environs to life.

The City & The City: Artwork by London Writers, was a first of its kind gallery exhibition of new-media and installation work by British-based artists at Pittsburgh's Woodstreet Galleries (U.S.A) guest curated by Justin Hopper (Sept - Dec 2012). Each of the artists who exhibited are experienced and well-regarded visual and conceptual artists, whilst probably being better known for their literary outputs, which range from creative non fiction (Iain Sinclair, Rachel Lichtenstein) criticism (Sukhdev Sandhu) to novels (Tom McCarthy) and poetry (Caroline Bergvall).

 

Salon is a collaboration between Rachel Lichtenstein and arts organisation Metal, to create a series of stimuating cultural evenings at Chalkwell Hall, with invited guest literary speakers. 
 
The Salon series began in Spring 2010 and is ongoing. 
 
The idea for Salon is loosely based on the informal evenings once held in Rachel's grandparent's house on the nearby Chalkwell Hall Estate, where they would invite the artists, poets and radicals of the former Jewish East End to eat, drink and share ideas in their tiny front room. 
 

Sight Unseen was originally conceived as site-specific work for contemporary art gallery Tintype (formerly a watchmaker’s workshop, located in a building full of jewellery related businesses, just off Hatton Garden). The show coincided with the launch of Lichtenstein’s book Diamond Street: the Hidden World of Hatton Garden (Hamish Hamilton).

Shorelines: the world's first festival of literature of the sea (15 -17th July, 2011) was hosted by arts organisation Metal and curated by poet Lemn Sissay and Rachel Lichtenstein. This small, intelligent and thought-provoking festival, celebrated some of the great writing across the ages, that has the sea as a central theme. The festival was held in a pop up venue in the beautiful location of Chalkwell Park in Essex, overlooking the Thames Estuary.

Throughout this unique three day event a great range of writers, poets and artists from around the world were invited to come and provoke discussion, re-awaken senses, excite the adventurous spirit and discover new and classic texts about the sea. 

Highlights include: Sri Lankan born artist and writer Roma Tearne, the Nordic prize winning author from Iceland Sjon, the American artist Thomas Joshua Copper, an open air production of The Tempest, Chinese poet Yang Lian, contemporary cult British authors; Iain Sinclair, Jay Griffiths and Robert Macfarlane, a special production of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and an award winning adaptation of Hemingway's world renowned novella The Old Man and the Sea by Magpie Blue Productions.Curated by Rachel Lichtenstein and poet Lemn Sissay for arts organisation Metal, Shorelines: the world’s first literature festival of the sea was held in Chalkwell Park in 2011, in a beautiful location, overlooking the Thames Estuary. This small, intelligent and thought-provoking festival, celebrated some of the great writing across the ages that has the sea as a central theme. Provoking discussion, re-awakening senses, exciting the adventurous spirit and enabling the audience to discover both new and classic texts about the sea.

 

In June 2011 Rachel Lichtenstein participated in a five-day experiential trip along the Thames Estuary in an 80ft Dutch barge, resulting in collaborative discussions, events and a film project A Study for the Estuary with James Price, which: premiered at Shorelines Literary Festival of the Sea, featured as Guardian podcast of the week and was shown on BBC London news, Quadrangle Film Festival and in STILL: Conflict, Conservation and Contemplation exhibition

Eastbound: Hidden Histories (Christchurch Spitalfields, 2007)

Curated by Rachel Lichtenstein, in collaboration with Projects at Christ Church, this multi-media exhibition in the historic crypt of Hawksmoor’s Christ Church coincided with the launch of On Brick Lane (Hamish Hamilton, 2007). Lichtenstein invited some of the artists she celebrates in this book to share their own interpretations of Brick Lane and its many communities.

 

Rachel Lichtenstein was the British Library's first Pearson Creative Research Fellow. Over a period of 18 months she ran public workshops for schools and other groups on creative research practises alongside working on her own investigative arts project, based on a selection of original handwritten manuscripts from the library's collection. Her work culminated in a photographic installation and a publication entitled Add.17469: A Little Dust Whispered.

 

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