he parking space has been selected, the skip permit acquired. And the exciting news is that Skip Gallery’s Upgrade – an art collaboration in a skip (see below) – is now in situ in Hoxton Square, remaining there for the whole month.
If you’re not familiar with the name Richard Woods, you may have unwittingly seen some of his work in places like the Saatchi, British Museum and V&A.
His recent installation, Holiday Homes at last year’s Folkestone Triennial, won unbridled critical acclaim: six brightly painted miniature bungalows scattered throughout the town, a thought-provoking statement on second homes on the coast, as well as being cartoonish pieces in their own right.And it’s this idea that has inspired the new Hoxton Square installation, originally intended for Somers Town but moved – at the last minute – due to issues with Camden Council.
Upgrade attempts to shine a light on a host of issues surrounding social housing and urban regeneration. It also coincides with the London Festival of Architecture – a potentially subversive statement itself.
“I’d been filling a skip with all the leftover material that we had used to build the Holiday Homes in Folkestone,” Woods says, “and it struck me how potent an image it made – having bits of window or chimney poking out of it.”
The house acquires further meaning by being framed by the walls of the skip in which it sits – “perhaps representing the elements of a home that are discarded or abandoned in the process of renovation, regeneration and upgrading”, he says.
The gallery is part of the artwork, inviting residents and visitors to consider the cycle of change in the city, highlighting the effect of gentrification without passing judgement.
Go check it out for yourself.