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In its most radical architectural intervention yet, the Henry Moore Institute’s main gallery is, thanks to Katrina Palmer (b1967), currently bisected by a railway platform. And it is no ordinary platform, but a platform from the London Necropolitan Railway, built in 1854 at Waterloo station, to see off the bereaved and those that had departed this life on a (in the latters’ case) one-way journey to the London Necropolis, built outside the capital in Brookwood, Surrey, with the intention that it should provide a burial site large enough to accommodate Londoners for all of time to come.
As an artist whose practice is steeped in research and narrative, with a penchant for blending fact and fiction, Palmer’s selection for an exhibition at an institute whose remit is to promote sculpture, naturally raises questions about the very nature of this art form. Head of sculpture studies at the institute, Lisa Le Feuvre, talks to Studio International about these issues and explains the history of the Necropolitan Line and Palmer’s unique take on how to represent its story in a gallery in Leeds.
Katrina Palmer: The Necropolitan Line
Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
10 December 2015 – 21 February 2016
Interview by ANNA McNAY
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY