Nadege Meriau and Queen Mary University of London
Dr Richard Baxter, Queen Mary University of London
Home futures: an exploration through photography and sculpture
Nadège Mériau’s residency with Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for Studies of the Home (CSH) presented the opportunity for Mériau to work within an academic setting, and for Dr Richard Baxter to learn about artistic modes of production and interpretation. Developing towards an exhibition at the Geffrye Museum of the Home the residency took specific interest in the Aylesbury estate.
The estate was built in the 1960s and 70s by modern architects inspired by the spirit of social utopias, however, construction was poor and the estate fell into disrepair by the 1980s. Recently a major regeneration program has begun, received well by some, opposed and resisted by others. Through regular meetings with Dr Baxter and curators from the Geffrye Museum Mériau’s concepts and responses to the estate developed. A key moment was the realisation that architects such as Gaudi and Le Corbusier were deeply influenced by the organisation of beehives.
In response Mériau created two works, the first a metaphorical film using imagery of beehives, the second a papier mâché sculpture partially fabricated via a series of artist-led workshops with residents of the Aylesbury estate. Thanks to a successful application for additional funding from the Centre of Public Engagement at Queen Mary University London the exhibition, The Aylesbury Estate as Home, went ahead, opening on the 5th of April 2016 and running until the 18th of September.
As part of the project Mériau was in conversation with philosopher and author Sacha Galub at King’s College London on the 21st October 2015, and also took part in the Home and Art: Creating, Performing and Research Home event at the Geoffrey Museum in May 2015. A pop up exhibition was held at Queen Mary’s School of Geography and the residency was also featured at the Inside Out Festival at Somerset House.
Image: Mycotopia at Anarch, Installation view. 2013
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