In 2019 I won a £22K commission to create artworks at the new Timberyard buildings in Deptford, London. The final works were hung just before lockdown in 2020, so these are my only photos as there was no opening event.
As part of the process I did in-depth research into the history of the Deptford docks (where the site was built) , and I involved many local residents.
My piece “Sylva” was a huge cyanotype that I made from a living tree. It was inspired by John Evelyn’s book “Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees and the Propagation of Timber” 1664. John Evelyn was a diarist who was way ahead of his time with his experimentation with plants, and his writings about the importance of green spaces.
For another lobby , I created 2 huge photo collages showing interesting and familiar indioscyncries of Deptford. The new residents might not recognise these vistas at first, but after leaving in the area they would gradually recognise more and more from my picture. A drip-feed. I really wanted to make artworks that could be enjoyed over time.
Those Who Stood Before Us
To The River
I also wanted to show Deptford ‘present and future’ . The characters who aren’t royalty but do a lot of work to keep Deptford the lively and vibrant place it is. From Malcom Cadman, who runs the community garden, to the vicar at the historic St.Nicholas Church. I also included one of the many whales spotted off Deptford (I’d tried to photograph it but it died downriver). The mythical mermaid of Deptford Creek also known as “the Deptford Necker” I included, and some shells and driftwood from the Thames foreshore which faces the end of this piece.