In Translation


April 15th – 14th May 2021. Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, Stockwell Street

Since 2017 Captivate Research Group, in partnership with St Alfege Church, have been 3D scanning the entire church from the top of the steeple to the furthest recesses of the crypt, from inside to outside, from before, during and after the HLF supported restoration works. In the order of 400 polychrome + monochrome scans and more than 2,000 photographs have been used to build large 3D point cloud and photogrammetric models of St Alfege.

These models are effectively worlds which can be explored, worlds which are 1:1 translations of the actual church but that can reveal previously unseen views and spatial relationships such as that between the sacristy, the crypt and the roof void which reveals a unity of composition previously unseen.

The views in this exhibition are taken from the same data sets but with aesthetic variation to make apparent specific qualities and atmospheres. In some of the scans the architecture appears as a series of veils through which we can perceive the totality of the church. In others we see the church in section where for instance the extraordinary stacked sequence of the chambers of the steeple materialise, exquisite segments linked by a series of ladders winding between the volatile bells and around the delicately extended mechanisms of the clock.

We are now able to see the spatial complexity of St Alfege as a whole from multiple points of view.