Bermondsey Project Space exhibition

31 AUG 2021 - 4 SEPT 2021 | 11:00 - 18:00

Bermondsey Project Space is partnering with the Good Governance Institute to exhibit Tim Nathan’s photography, featured in this year’s Festival Review.

The exhibition will be open daily from 11am - 6pm at Bermondsey Project Space183-185 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UW - between Tuesday 31 August and Saturday 4 September.

The exhibition represents an opportunity to collaborate with people and organisations who share our values and ambitions. Participation and imagination, original thinking and the sharing of ideas are as fundamental to the ethos of Bermondsey Project Space as they are to the Festival of Governance, an important event we are proud to be part of.

Nick Glass interviews Tim Nathan in the run up to the Exhibition 

50°51′6″ N 0°33′28″ E"


The documentation of a personal journey

"Although Tim Nathan is a seasoned and successful director, music video maker, photographer and designer his cornerstone passions are his twofold love of horses and drawing."

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Kevin Armstrong "Save Your Breath" On bandcamp  Very pleased to have been able to work with Kevin to produce this new video to go with this most beautiful song . Special Thanks to Brad Manning and Andy Philips for digital post production. The video will be featured at the event exhibition "Flip The Script" as part of the Festival of Governance AUG 31 AT 11 AM UTC+01 – SEP 4 AT 5 PM UTC+01 TIM NATHAN. EXIBITION "FLIP THE SCRIPT 50°51′6″ N 0°33′28″ E Bermondsey Project Space 

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When I first looked at Tim Nathan's recent works I used the words 'many have witnessed such scenes but few have captured them’, of course though we ourselves are captive to nature's grand illusions and stand marveling in its elusive presence. What we witness in the evening is gone by morning and so too, the morning skies and horizons are long gone by nightfall.
For Tim Nathan this recent work is a marked end point in what seems to have been a personal journey. What went before were fleeting abstractions and diverse figurative sketches, in which the artist is playing with form and pathos with bold yet delicate strokes of the ink pen.
What we are witnessing is a discovery of the world through glass again, a return to the photographic. Here in this new zen like phase, that is expressive, yet both rigid and disciplined, Tim rests his eyes on that which we seek but never find, only to discover that it was there right in front
of our eyes all the time.
It is as if the drama and anticipation of changing skies and moody seas echo the complication and confusion of our troubled minds. These scenes witnessed through a lens and cast within a frame speak of personal human pain, experiences and circumstances, temper our suffering. The sea and sky bring us a calm wonder and visceral moments in time.
Nature's visual gift to us is that of peace and joy.
– Eddie Knight

About the exhibition

Gareth Stevens discussing the artist, his inspiration and the work:

Although Tim Nathan is a seasoned and successful director, music video maker, photographer and designer his cornerstone passions are his twofold love of horses and drawing.

Whether working with a medical company on designing parts for centrifuges to separate stem cells from blood samples or directing a team of musicians and technicians to produce a music video, his ground state is that of draughtsman and sculptor. In the midst of working on a wide range of disparate and often peculiar projects, he is always true to his core purpose.

All his work is an impressive meld of the form and rhythm of horses in motion in which neither element is diminished. Although his drawings are executed quickly, the apparent ease of their creation belies the depth of his understanding and the clarity of his perception. There are few who could achieve what he does, and suspect that anyone seeking to emulate him would require decades of study in order to capture the spirit and physical presence of horses so directly, convincingly and with such freshness and quiet confidence.

So what led Tim to produce this stunning series of seascape photographs, a creative process that represents a departure from his normal artistic concerns? …

and why have they resonated so deeply with those who find themselves confronted by them now?

It would be easy to fall back onto a more formal Art Historical approach to investigate these questions. I could make equivalences and comparisons with the romantic paintings of Caspar David Friedrich - indeed when I imagine Tim alone on the beach at daybreak underneath gigantic winter storm clouds, Friedrich’s depictions of the lone figure set against the huge scale and power of nature do come to mind. It would be just as predictable to refer to the foreboding and brooding seascapes of Emil Nolde. Instead, I want to go beyond the obvious and focus on a more biographical angle that considers how these photographs bear testament to the photographer’s struggle with mental health issues. More than that, I want to discuss how Tim led himself out of his mental health crisis by radically changing the narrative of his life.

The pandemic and its consequent lockdown requirements have caused each and every one of us to deepen our level of reflectiveness.

It has forced us to readjust our priorities. Irrespective of all the hardships and challenges it has brought, it has also seen many of us grow, develop, and begin to think more profoundly. Whilst Tim is adamant that lockdown did not directly cause his mental health crisis - he claims that he found the restrictions strangely liberating - I do think that it provided the conditions for his existential breakdown.

2020 was a tough year for Tim. Sadly his father died and tragically he was unable to attend his funeral because of lockdown restrictions. In his last decade, he has endured chronic and acute anxiety and depression. In his own words he “deals with this on a daily basis”. Dogged by the perpetual feeling that he is never living in the present he tells me that his depression is always coupled with intense feelings of disassociation. He explains that he also experienced overwhelming sensations of boredom and annoyance because despite understanding his condition, such self-knowledge brings him no relief.

In December 2020 a sudden but normally dismissible shock proved to be the “straw that broke the camel’s back”.

Tim began to suffer attacks on a daily basis that left him lying on his studio floor in helpless tears. He began to feel huge disappointment in himself, explaining later “I had worked so hard on myself, been in therapy, adopted a regime of self-care and now I felt like I had failed” His sense of self-worth nosedived and knowing himself so well, he became aware that it was going to take a huge effort and considerable time to pull himself out of the hole he had fallen into. Worryingly he wasn’t sure whether he had enough reserves to succeed. He says he knew he just had to throw himself into his work. Additionally, he tells me that he decided to “change everything I do”. He overhauled his diet, started a daily routine of yoga, stopped drinking, and began walking incessantly.
These photographs are not the result of any grand preconceived project. They started with Tim impulsively deciding to take his camera on one of his now routine walks along the nearby shoreline of St Leonards-on-Sea.

At first it was just another thing that he could do that was different -

an additional way of radically redefining who he was. Tim started to post his seascape photographs with neither commentary nor comment on social media. Early feedback showed that the work was beginning to touch people profoundly. This, he says, gave purpose to his daily photographic excursions and enabled him to enjoy some validation for the work.
When I commented to Tim that he often braved inclement weather to capture some of the more dramatic seascape photographs, he remarked that ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes'. It occurs to me that just as you need to change your clothes to weather a literal storm, a sudden downturn in mental health requires a change in mindset to one that is more protective and generative as much as possible.

That is exactly what Tim did.

Some argue that the causes of suffering are disproportionately inside of us,

not in the ‘out there’ world of political or economic systems that shape how we live - that if we meditate or practise mindfulness then we can still flourish even though we may be under huge external pressures. Others argue that this view can take away from our motivation to act pragmatically and to initiate positive changes in our external world. Of course we need to look after ourselves and serve other people and causes … it is not either or.

These series of photographs are a manifestation of self-leadership. Tim realized he needed to break away from old habits, to change the very things that he did every day in order to battle his black dog. By flipping his script, he carefully governed himself out from his despair. Through his fortitude and willingness to adopt a different mentality, he has shown us the importance of self-leadership. He poses the question: How can we be expected to lead others and to have any positive impact in the world if we cannot lead ourselves mindfully?

To me these photographs are about coming to terms with impermanence. The sea is never the same two days running. It literally ebbs and flows - changed by tides, wind and fluctuating light. Similarly, scudding clouds flow from horizon to horizon, and are never the same twice. Buddhism tells us we need to lean into the idea of impermanence in order to lessen our suffering. In the same way that Tim’s seascape photographs distil the ever changing and fleeting nature of reality, they also speak to the idea that our emotional and mental landscapes are not permanent and are not who we are in essence. We can change them and lead ourselves out of the storm clouds if we can develop resilience and harness effective strategies.

One reason why these photographs have engaged so many people is because they provide points of communion. When we look at them we share Tim’s hardship and gain some relief in knowing that we have all faced challenges during the pandemic. For that reason I would like to dedicate this to all those who, by whatever cause, have found themselves close to the brink in the last year or so.

All power to you!

Gareth Stevens

About the artist

Tim Nathan is a multi-disciplinarian Artist. He is a skilled bronze founder, a successful film director, a music video maker, photographer and designer. He studied in Hastings and Canterbury and has lectured in drawing for over ten years in Further Education. Whilst being hugely capable in a wide range of creative processes, he perpetually returns to his passion for horses and drawing.

Since an early age Tim has spent time with horses. He rode horses as a boy amongst the flatlands of Lincolnshire in Burton upon Stather. As he grew older he met a champion dressage rider and through their time together his appreciation of horses deepened and his artistic impetus sharpened. Obsessed with Leonardo da Vinci from a very early age, as he moved through his formal Art education he never left his preoccupation with animals, nature and, more particularly horses.

He has worked alongside many of the great figures in dressage such as Franz Rochowansky former chief rider of Spanish Riding School and Olympic trainer, the Finnish rider Kyra Kyrklund, the International dressage rider Wayne Channon and Emile Faurie who has represented Great Britain at World, European and Olympic level.
The process of producing his drawings and sculptures draws significant parallels with the process of horsemanship itself. Each strives for balance, completeness and harmony to achieve the full potential of performance

He says that drawing is a crucial element of making any work, regardless of technical process or material outcome. It is his means of discussion, of exploring a proposition. “It informs, it is a tool, it is language, it is a criterion for criticism. Through drawing you can come to terms with subject matter, and as a byproduct of that process sometimes make good work. Understanding this process is true intellect.”

His work is well known in the world of dressage and is held in multiple collections across Europe, China, and the United States.

Tim currently operates from his production studio media25studio in St Leonards-on-Sea and he is currently producing work for many high profile clients in media and commerce.

About Bermondsey Project Space

Bermondsey Project Space (BPS) is a not-for-profit creative platform to encourage personal development through the visual arts, supporting the fusion of art, photography, film and culture. The Gallery comprises three floors of exhibition space, including a dedicated screening room, located on one of the most vibrant destination streets in London, in the shadow of the Shard, adjacent to White Cube and close to Borough Market and Tate Modern.

BPS hosts an exhibition programme spanning painting, photography, installation, sound and moving image, complimented by performances of poetry, spoken word, dance and music. The Gallery’s programme attracts a similarly diverse audience, which also includes an outreach programme working with local school groups, and projects with regional and national charities. Recently these have included ‘Build Love, Not Walls’ in collaboration SHADO, supporting LGBTQI+ and refugee charities, an art prize with environmental charity Sustainability First, and photography workshops with local students as part of the London Festival of Architecture.

183-185 Bermondsey Street

London SE1 3UW

+44 (0)203 441 5152