Press release “How do we remember?”



Adam Forman
How do we remember?

Highgate Gallery Friday March 29th to Thursday April 11th 2019

The fallibility of longitudinal memory and the memory of fleeting everyday experiences make up the two different parts of this exhibition. What do we keep of our lives, is this a reminder to ourselves and how much is it how we want others to remember us? The first is subject to self-selection and the second to the fallibility of others’ interpretation. Both play on the material in this first part of this exhibition.

Helen de Mouilpied was born in 1914 and died in 1987. Thirty years later the material she kept about herself is presented by the artist through his own memories. The viewer’s interpretation will confer significance to these memories. Why was this material kept and other items discarded? What has determined the selection from the material for this exhibition? How does this material trigger our own ways of remembering?

The first part of this exhibition is made up of diaries, photos, letters and other physical memories. Displayed chronologically it makes up the substance of one remembered life.

The second part of the exhibition is the culmination of a photographic project in Hackney. Fleeting interactions are committed to photographic memory. The same photograph was taken every day for a year, but not at the same time of day. The photographer (the artist) was not in Hackney every day; it took nearly eighteen months to accrue 365 photos. These are displayed in the form of a slide show: Hackney Crossing 365. The momentary memory of that instant has been captured through photographs, drawings, painting and lithographs.

The passing of time, observing everyday street scenes and surveillance have been recurrent themes in Adam Forman’s work; travel scenes in Imminent Public Spaces (2006) and the CCTV Series (2010). Being watched, watching and observing are ever present in these images, as is the act of clandestine photography on the closely observed crossing.

Much of the work in the exhibition is for sale

For further information please contact the artist: Exhibition co-ordinator for Highgate Gallery:

Gallery Open Tuesday-Friday 1-5pm, Saturday 11am-4pm, Sunday 11am-5pm; Closed Mondays PRIVATE VIEW: Friday 29th March 6-8.30pm


Registered under the Friendly Societies Act 1974 Registration No 51SA giving full charitable status


2 replies on “Press release “How do we remember?””

Dear Adam,
I’m an art dealer, specialising in twentieth century war art and I’ve recently bought a wonderful group of pastels painted in 1918 by an artist called Mary Duncan, showing women from the Women’s Land Army gathering sphagnum moss for medicinal use in would dressings – a process pioneered by the Rev Adam Forman, who I’m hoping is your grandfather as well as your namesake!

I’m trying to find out how they came to be painted and whether you knew anything at all about them? A note on the back of one of them suggests that they were once owner by a Nicholas Forman, who I believe may be a cousin of yours.

Any help that you can provide would be most gratefully received.


Andrew Sim
Sim Fine Art

Hi Andrew
Yes Rev Adam Forman was my grandfather. He was responsible for organising the collection of Sphagnum moss during world war 1. I think you know this already as Leonie Paterson told me you had made contact. I have a definite memory (?reliable) of seeing these images in my childhood in my grandfather’s house. Nicholas Forman is a cousin who I think inherited them either directly from Rev Adam Forman or his eldest son who was Nicholas’ father.
None of this helps you as I know nothing more about them. I agree they are impressive. I can email my cousin and ask if he is happy to be put in touch with you.
Was Mary Duncan well known?
My request to you is that you ask whoever you sell them to can be made known to both the Royal Botanic Garden archivist and Moffat Museum so that the new owners could be approached to loan them for any exhibitions on the moss gathering.
I will approach my cousin.My personal email is
Best wishes
Adam Forman

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