Siobhan came to my attention when I discovered that she was responsible for the very successful hotel project at The Savoy – the IET is very fortunate to occupy a fine Victorian building on the embankment over-looking the Thames, adjacent to The Savoy.
Our early meetings broadened my perspective on how we could achieve a clever blend of a documentary recording of the £30 million refurbishment of our building, with the story telling of the history of the building and how it became “revealed” as we stepped back in time during the strip-out.
Siobhan impressed me with her proposal and a two and a half year partnership began early in 2013. We still keep in touch today (a year after the building project was completed), because Siobhan does not just photograph, Siobhan tells stories through images. This is a vital component of her work and adds a dimension that engages the audience quite powerfully and provokes the viewer into thinking more than just about the physicality of the building – her stories invite the viewer to imagine the history of the activities that have taken place in those spaces and provides context about what happens today and what may happen in the future. I hope that we can work together on other photographic projects as we move towards this institution’s 150th anniversary.
Siobhan visited our building countless times over two and a half years and her ability to manage the project with little requirement for my intervention was a complete blessing. Her familiarity with construction sites and the ease with which she slipped into the team are testimony to her experience and thoughtful approach. Throughout the project, I looked forward to receiving her regular updates and latest portfolio of images. These never disappointed in terms of capturing what we needed to record, but the real joy was seeing the imagination that Siobhan displayed as hidden features and structures were unveiled, modified and refinished to serve the purposes of an institution moving into the twenty-first century.
One of the rooms in our building has accommodated an exhibition of Siobhan’s photographs of Savoy Place. This is a popular room with our members and other visitors – testimony to the enduring nature of her work and the intriguing stories that her images can tell.
November 2016Mike Harding
We engaged Siobhan’s services to manage the design and production of signage artworks that we needed in each of our newly renovated rooms in Savoy Place. Our main meeting rooms are named after prominent engineers and we needed artwork that both informed the viewer of the impact that each engineer had on society, but also was visually captivating – holding the attention of our audiences both young and old. This project was again managed very successfully with Siobhan carrying out extensive research – managing a team of designers, printers and framers to “seamlessly” produce what we needed.
Looking back on the project now, I remained impressed with what Siobhan managed to achieve, and how well Siobhan appeared to deliver effortlessly – although I am sure that the project was very challenging behind the scenes!
January 2017Mike Harding