Wassail - Berkeley Homes, Vista

Commissioned by UP Projects on behalf of Berkeley Homes, this developed in to a series of eight works sited around a new housing development on the Nine Elms, Battersea, London.

Notionally based around the idea of way markers to help people navigate around the site, my approach was based in the thinking that anything can function as a way marker; as kid you might tell your friends to meet ‘by the broken tree in the park’ or direct a passer-by with the instruction to ‘turn left at the wonky lamp-post’. By introducing a range of interesting visual moments in to the landscape of the site, I was creating these simple navigational reference points.

The works were developed through a period of research in the borough and draw on a broad range of cultural and historical reference points - the discovery of the Seax of Beagnoth in the Thames at Battersea (containing an inscription of the most complete Anglo-Saxon runic alphabet ever found), Pink Floyd’s iconic ‘Animals’ album cover, the admirable work of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the former business site of the Short Brothers in the gas works, the World Fair ‘Pleasure Gardens’ fun fair in Battersea Park (where I was able to interview some long-term residents of the borough who had visited the fun fair as children and use lines of their descriptions of the experience to set in to the ground), the formation of the WEA in a terraced house nearby in 1903, the pre-industrial revolution farming of lavender in the borough and the fact that The Clash filmed their ‘London Calling’ video on a pier off Battersea Park on a rainy night in 1979.

The parts of the site containing the works are all publicly accessible, should you wish to visit.