Let in Light
Socio political examination of housing stock and principles.
"Let in Light and sunshine to the dwellings of the people, and with the light will come health. Without health there can be very little happiness." Count Derby, 1912.
The Count and Countess of Derby officially opened Eldon Grove, situated close to Scotland Road and Liverpool's docks, in 1912 with an altruistic vision of offering Liverpool's workers decent housing centred on community.
Although the seemingly utopian vision of 'let in light and sunshine to the dwellings of the people' was a ploy by the wealthy factory owners to ensure productivity and ultimately profits, conversley, it did offer a strong foundation for community development. People did benefit from better housing conditions and purpose built surroundings for raising thier families. Liverpool Corporation became an innovator in its social housing policy.
Subsequent housing policies over the following 100 years have taken us from boom to blight - from the end of the 'Corpy' to Militant, through Liberal Democratics to New Labour. The industrial workforce is no longer the majority and demands for 'young professions' living across the city has exponentially grown. Housing stock has movedinto tenant management, private ownership with the right to buy or been allowed to diapidate ahead of European financed regeneration. Private developers can see big profits in re-designing and re-branding once working-class strongholds into new desirable housing and the local authority can see quick fix benefits from selling off their existing state managed housing stock into private hands, marginally relieving the heavy spending burden of state run housing schemes.
This body of work seeks to examine a selection of locations in Liverpool that reflect upon the management of the people and the spaces of the city past, present and future.
They highlight triumphs, failures and short sightedness within society both physically and metaphysically in the treatment of people and place, acting out local governmental practice and central government policies.
The images are constructed in such a way as to be able to print at large scale, encouraging the viewer to marco and microscopically read each picture, a nod to the tradition of the painted tableau.
The work explores taking the medium of photography beyond its immediate time boundaries, to snatch a miniscule moment in time - a snapshot. Each photograph consists of 10-50 individual negatives, composited together digitally to create a newly constructed view of each place.