The Valley Room considers artist-making in the Lea Valley through a gathering of artefacts, films, objects, maps, books, events. Artists are invited to reflect on a previous work made in response to the valley; to share work-in-progress; or to make a new intervention.

Saturday 21 September 12-4pm Skyline Soundscape

For Open House 2024, artist Nick Smith will play records, found sounds and spoken word to the City of London skyline from the Valley Room.


Previously at The Valley Room

Rakhee Jasani and Anna Hart, Between earth and sky, July 2024 
An exchange exploring the body as tool and archive in a site-specific practice. Rakhee led a Qigong Fire Practice on the Wild Marsh. The following day Anna made a new situated performance, Inflection Point(s), in The Valley Room.

Otis Chetwynd-Woods, Eddie Jack Trigg, Wai Ka Yau, Because I wasn’t thinking, June 2024 
Films and performance brought a glimpse of the ‘doing through being’ during AiR’s most recent Public Bodies residency with Central Saint Martins. Long days spent close to the earth on Wild Marsh East in supportive companionship tested landscape as studio and body as material. Moving, loitering, gathering and rearranging shaped abundant research, and left desiring patches and paths. Within days these temporary marks of presence and practice had disappeared. The Valley Room exhibition brought an opportunity for three of the artists to re-gather and test what happened when this doing is brought inside/alongside/in-view.

Ben Nathan, Remains (2028), May/June 2024 
An exhibition of photographs witnessing the recent levelling of Meridian Water including the ‘Harbet Road Hill’ until now only documented by Google streetview, with the Edmonton incinerator chimney hovering above what has been left behind. Alongside Ben turned the Valley Room into a camera obscura, offering a magical space in which to place our own bodies and consider the complexities of what we leave in a place. 

Kathrin Böhm, Rural Undercurrents, April 2024
In 2013 Kathrin Böhm set up Haystacks as informal get-togethers to explore rural histories, knowledge and mindsets we know – or brought with us – into the urban. Led by practice, the haystacks harvest and pile up knowledge together, and once a year the gatherings are an actual scything and hay making day with Ida Fabrizio on the Walthamstow Marsh. In the Valley Room, Kathrin Böhm revisited Haystacks in anticipation of resuming Walthamstow Marsh hay-making on 23 June.  A situated collage and artist talk reflected on rural knowledge that migrates to, and survives in, the city.

Henrietta Williams, The Secret Security Guard, December, 2023 
Henrietta Williams interviewed with G4S in January 2012, and after training, worked as a security guard and x-ray screener based at the Olympic Park for the duration of the games. Alongside fulfilling her duties for G4S she also worked as an undercover reporter for the Guardian writing a column called ‘The Secret Security Guard’. Henrietta recovered source material and ephemera from her attic and revisited the project in The Valley Room through a new text ‘Retracing the footsteps of The Secret Security Guard’ and an installation. Watch and listen to Henrietta reading ‘Retracing the footsteps of The Secret Security Guard’ via Instagram LIVE here.

Hilary Powell, Popuppopup, November 2023 
Ten years ago Powell made fifty-one pop-up books on a public production line in an old print-works in Stratford. In the Valley Room she reflected on Legend: An A-Z of the Lea Valley, presenting the finished book alongside the book-in-parts, source material, films and an artist talk. As one of many extraordinary works Powell has made in the valley before/during/after the Olympics, this was a moment to reflect on how the collaborative performative making process has informed later community making including on Bank Job and Power, and the co-learning that happens in her projects. For AiR and our local visitors, Hilary’s installation offered a reflective space to consider how we wander and act in the immediacy of Meridian Water demolition and redevelopment. 

Maeve Laurence, While you work, October 2023 
While you work considers who is making and mending the things we use/eat/need everyday and the places where this labour happens through observing/collecting/collaborating in a paradigmatic contemporary industrial estate: making – bread, kebabs, woodwork, signage, ducts, sculpture, clothes, ice-cream; mending – radios, cars, windscreens, dough mixers. Maeve collaborated with thirteen neighbours working on the Hastingwood Trading Estate to create incidental drawings with their everyday materials and processes – blood, rust, red oxide, grease, sawdust, dough, oil, clay, atomised paint, steel dust, hot air.

Concieved as a nomadic presence, The Valley Room is currently located in AiR’s studio beside the Banbury Reservoir at Unit A29, Hastingwood Trading Estate, London N18 3HU. As well as Saturday interventions, it is open on Thursdays 12-4pm by appointment – please email to arrange a time. We would like to welcome everyone into our space however we are on the first floor with no lift. Please call Anna on 07977 094 330 to arrange to see the material if our stair access is a restriction for you.

The first commissions in Autumn 2023 were supported by ACE & Enfield Council as part of Enfield Festival of Industry. 2024 commissions have been supported by City Plumbing and Enfield Council.

  • While you work, Maeve Laurence, 2023
  • Presence, Otis Chetwynd-Woods, 2024
  • Popuppopup, Hilary Powell, 2023
  • Rural Undercurrents, Kathrin Böhm, 2024
  • Valley Room Camera Obscura, Ben Nathan, 2024
  • The Secret Security Guard, Henrietta Williams, 2024
  • Passage, Wai Ka Yau, 2024 & Presence, Otis Chetwynd-Woods, 2024
  • Lea Valley Shelves (with BOC gasworks cladding), 2023