On the 24th May, London’s Foundling Museum will show the first exhibition to explore the use of sound in William Hogarth’s art. Hogarth & The Art of Noise is an immersive exhibition and sensory experience, in which visitors are introduced to important however, unexplored elements of his art. It is a snapshot of London 300 years ago. The show will centre around Hogarth’s The March of the Guards to Finchley and incorporate a specially commissioned soundscape created by acclaimed musician and producer, Martyn Ware (of Heaven 17!).
The exhibition will be divided into six sections that each look at aspects of London’s history and elements that Hogarth’s work addresses. Some will highlight the debauchery of London:
Gin: The gin craze was prolific in the 18th century and was the downfall of respectable and not-so respectable people alike.
Theft: was everywhere at the time – the term “breaking and entering” came about at the end of the 18th century.
Brothels: these rife in the 18th century. Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies was published in the 1750s (a small pocketbook describing the physical appearance and sexual specialties of prostitutes who worked in and around Covent Garden)
Others will focus on history of British sportsmen, the city’s limits and formation of the guard:
The Grenadier Guards: the 18th century saw the formalizing of the uniform and the professionalization of the army.
The Edge of London: the painting depicts a scene at Tottenham Court Road – then, the edge of London.
Boxing: the 18th century was when formal rules for modern-day boxing came into place
The exhibition will also be complimented by the work of contemporary artist Nicola Bealing. She has created a series of works inspired by subjects and narratives found within 18th century broadside ballads. Her surreal and humorous works bear many similarities with that of Hogarth, an artist she cites as having inspired her.
Hogarth & The Art of Noise
24 May - 1 September 2019
The Foundling Museum,
40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ