The arrival of five huge cranes at Dalston Junction, east London, England, in 2008 signalled massive change to a once familiar area. Time became visible with the stripping away of layers of the city as the area underwent extensive regeneration.
I began drawing from the streets, subsequently becoming artist in residence in the Barratt Homes Dalston Square construction site - an exhilarating experience, literally climbing amongst the tower blocks as they were being built.
New residents, Ben and Jane Collins, moved into a flat on the 17th floor, a space I’d drawn within during the construction phase, and invited me into their home to draw.
The drawings are records of my encounters with transforming spaces. They chart the shifting relationship between building and city, the changing nature of the space as the tower block evolves through time and the emergence of domesticity, perched upon layers of raw construction.
Drawing on location has become a catalyst for my own observations and other peoples and, whilst drawing, I have recorded the interaction I’ve had with passersby and construction workers, along with new and existing residents. Extracts from these interactions create a parallel narrative:
8.4.09 - Boleyn Road - Blazing sun, in a side street, drawing the gap, once a row of independent high street shops and flats, now making way for the train line, in the interim revealing crumbling Georgian terraces and an expanse of pure space. After a few hours a lady with a bun comments that I'm still there, and marvels at how beautiful the development will be when it's finished, along with the new rose garden that will apparently cover the whole of the road we were standing in. She felt however, this would encourage hobos. Opposite us, she explained, the building used to be a hat factory, was now residential, but for people who paid neither rent nor council tax. This was to be demolished and transformed.
Artist Bio / CV
Solo Exhibitions: 2011 Archaeology of urban time: drawing Dalston, The Geffrye Museum, London;2009 Phenomena of Change, Dalston Square, London;2005 Mapping Paris, Espace Henri Gilbert, Paris; 2005 Alexandra Blum, Galerie Vendome, Paris;1999 Juncture, Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation, London
Group Exhibitions: 2012 Pastel Society Open, Mall Galleries, London 2011 RA Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Creekside Open, APT Gallery, London; Local, Karin Janssen Project Space, London;2010 Overground uncovered, London Transport Museum; Dalston Voices, Hackney Museum, London; 2009 We are Open, Centre for the Urban Built Environment, Manchester;2008 Regeneration in London, Engaging with Communities, The Building Centre London; 2008 Nouvelles Oeuvres, Galerie Vendome, Paris; 2008 Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London 2006 Expositions du Cinquantenaire, Galerie Vendome, Paris; 2004 Living for the City, Blue Wing Gallery, London; Triple Take, Embassy of Japan, London;2003 Into the Wilderness, Stroud House Gallery, Stroud; 2002 Nexus, East 73rd Gallery, London; 2002 Drawings for All, Gainsborough's House, Suffolk; 1998 Two Artists Kyoto; TAK Building, Kyoto, Japan; 1998 Cheltenham Open Drawing Exhibition, Cheltenham, Berlin, Hull
Awards: 2008 David Gluck Memorial Bursary for Drawing; 2008 Artist in Residence Dalston Square Construction Site, London; 1998 Florence Trust Studio Award, London; 1996 Monbusho Research Scholar, Kyoto City Univeristy of Arts, Japan;1995 Hatton Prize, John Christie Prize, Scuplture Prize, University of Newcastle
Public Collections:The Geffrye Museum, London; Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, London