Days before the demolition of one of the tower blocks in the regeneration project, I had the opportunity to experience first-hand the vacant flats from the inside. I wanted to evoke the memory of the departed – the flats had been unlived in for some time so I could only capture an indication of them through pictures of the dust-blanketed empty interiors.
In Window Triptych (pictures 1-3), the wallpaper in the central picture hints at the room’s former glory. Despite the condensation, mottled damp, flies, and mouse droppings, the sunlight through the net curtains infuses a warming beauty. A feeling of spiritual departure is projected as traces of lives once lived are about to be demolished forever.
Layers of the block are stripped away revealing indications of past lives (picture 4). The starkness, scale, and perspective in the image create an impression of a decaying multi-cellular structure. Walls, and layers of the block are stripped away exposing dashes of colour; remnants of the tastes and individuality of the people who once lived here.
The vibrancy of the red stairs (picture 8) illuminates the route of decades of residents, now days away from demolition. The thoroughfare in the once populated block contrasts strikingly with the bare walls, the red hue one of the final residents. The starkness of the image reminds us of the small and often unnoticed details that make us feel comforted and at home.