In her 80th year Karin-Marie Wach, a Bermondsey artist, takes her exhibition Transformation to the city of her birth, Hamburg, this week.

The exhibition consists of works inspired by and based upon the former Butlers and Grinders spice mill in Shad Thames before it closed in May 1994.  It is being shown in an art gallery attached to a windmill (still operational, but now a museum) in the Bergedorf district.  One mill that has survived plays host to an exhibition about one that did not.

The Mill, famous for its grinding expertise, was facing closure when Karin obtained permission to photograph its interior.  She used a simple analogue camera to take pictures of spices spilling over machines, and down to the ground from sacks and bales in what she describes as “a first process of transformation from working Mill in to an Aladdin’s cave.”

The works in the exhibition are created from multiple copies of one – or occasionally two – simple photos without retouching or editing.  The resulting images, mounted on board and framed under glass, explore through their formal layout and content the complexity of the grinding processes during the last days of the mill.  Karin says of her work, “The process of transformation from simple photograph – my medium – to artwork in this body of work results from the shape of the cogwheel.  (The granite millstones were driven by giant cogwheels.)  In this way I could merge into an organic whole Plant/machinery/cogwheel with Plant/flower/ Spice.” 

The exhibition is at the gallery at the Bergedorfer Mill, Chrysanderstraße 52A, 21029 Hamburg, Germany.  From18 May – 4 August.  Times are Saturday and Sunday from 11.00 to 17.00.