This piece was designed for a housing estate in Camberwell, South London, during my final degree year. I sent a letter to nearly all the art officers in the London boroughs to ask if I can offer my services as an unpaid artist to initiate a public realm commission and received one reply. Thankfully it was a positive invitation to develop a brief for the housing trust and it gave me a huge insight into the hopes and dreams of people living in high density housing who need to invest money into solving problems that the designers made in the first place. Sadly there are few art officers positioned in council offices these days.
During my degree show, I spoke in-depth with a lady from the Home Office about crime statistics, social deprivation and community empowerment. All with meaningful intent to produce further work of this nature. Within seconds, I was made an offer on the artwork from a private buyer and agreed immediately. On the spot! Students spend there whole degree readying themselves to sell work at the final exhibition show and this is how hard work is validated and success is measured. Only looking back now, I’m disappointed I didn’t offer it to the housing estate first. This would have been the real measure of success. So now it is in France, and I’m not sure where it is or how it looks, and I regret not taking better photos at the time. But this has always been an important morality tale for me and a reminder about the principles behind why I make the work that I do.