Author: Ben Luke

Publication: London Evening Standard

Press Date: 20 Sep 2012

Countless corrugated iron churches — “tin tabernacles” — were built as the population soared in Victorian Britain. In Kilburn stands a rare surviving example, which is the unlikely setting for one of the most spellbinding shows of the year.

With help from art commissioners Artangel, Lindsay Seers has occupied the forlorn-looking former church, now the local sea cadets’ HQ, with a breathtaking multimedia installation.

The quirky interior, decked out like a ship, is a springboard for Seers’s intricate story, beginning with her family’s naval history. Shown on two screens, her video leads us on a journey that leaps between past, present and future.

Often dressed in seafaring garb, she traces the story of her great-great-uncle George, a naval officer in Zanzibar, but she also takes us into animated visions of a future where still photographs no longer exist. She draws in colonialism, witchcraft, freemasonry, the eye condition heterochromia and much else along the way. It is complex stuff but she pulls together her material deftly. I left the Tin Tabernacle feeling utterly exhilarated.