In 2014 #spikegate hit the headlines. The tag was initiated by an introduction of two inch, metal pavement spikes, a radical form of ‘defensive’ or ‘disciplinary’ architecture, at the entrance of flats in Southwark, London. They were installed to stop an ever-growing homeless community bedding down and it caused national outrage. The spikes were eventually removed. Unfortunately lack of empathy towards street sleepers continued, most probably fuelled by a Government led campaign of necessary economic austerity and right-wing press bias.

I found myself counting homeless individuals in Brighton one year earlier, a city that is also witnessing an unquestionable rise in street sleepers. Constantly looking down led me to notice plants creeping through cracks in the pavement. It felt like a symbolic resistance. Coltsfoot, Buddleia, Dandelion and Nettle interrupted the perfect surface, a reminder that the status quo is never rock solid. Things can change.

With this opinion in mind I started making images for Spikes. I collected the pavement flowers and crushed them into large format film. After a week I’d shine a little blue light onto them before developing and scanning the negative. Part organic stain, part photogram, my images will not instigate social reform or change public opinion in any small way. It’s just my way of expressing a counter narrative.

2013 - 2015
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