Travelling through time from the Chiswick House Menagerie of the 19th century to the present day, see how our relationship to animals has shaped Hounslow and the communities that live and work here. This intriguing collection of stories is told through the memory of local people and research of historical records and archives.
The project features a series of new stories extensively researched and written by Alistair Cartwright, and colourful images and stop motion animations by illustrator Amber Cooper-Davies, both of whom were selected by members of the Hounslow Exhibitions Group, which includes local people, artists and library staff.
CHISWICK HOUSE MENAGERIE
HEATHROW ANIMAL RECEPTION CENTRE
SACRED ANIMALS OF LAXMINARAYAN TEMPLE
PIGEONS IN ISLEWORTH
KINGFISHER IN CRANFORD PARK
HORSES ACROSS HOUNSLOW
SNAILS ON ISLEWORTH AIT
THE RAT CATCHER
THE BRENTFORD GRIFFIN
Alistair Cartwright is a writer and historian. His research focuses on the experience, representation, and regulation of postwar London’s ‘rented rooms’.
‘Working on this project, so often I was aware that it was the people I was speaking to – wildlife watchers and ecologists, community organisers and archivists – that were leading me on a journey of discovery. Hounslow’s layers of natural and human-made history are immensely complex, vital and at times troubling. Thanks to people like Wendy Marks, who showed me the hidden riches of Cranford Park, or Kathryn Rooke, who dug out some of the more obscure documents attached to Gunnersbury House, I was able to piece together what I hope is a story of relevance not only for understanding the past, but also the future.’
Amber Cooper-Davies is an illustrator and animator based in London. Her work is characterised by her love of materials, mixing colour and texture with intricate cutting and composition. Amber works in traditional print media, digital as well as live performance and augmented reality.
“It was really interesting to work with the Group on this project, as each person brought their unique insight about the characters and spirit of Hounslow. Usually working as an illustrator I will only really get feedback from one person, but with the richness of Alistair’s research and the knowledge of the panel, I was able to add much more depth and interest to my images. The members of the community really helped me to understand parts of the project that were outside of my personal experience, and showcase Hounslow’s diversity.”