Michael Smythe, 2011 Commissioned by NOMAD
This series of photographs were taken within the decanted Wingrave House, part of Heygate Estate, in January 2011. Smythe documented each of the 97 apartments after the residents had relocated in preparation for phase one of the Heygate demolition. Completed in 1974, the Heygate’s generously sized flats were initially popular with council tenants, but the estate gradually struggled with a reputation for violence and deprivation during the Thatcher era. Today, the estate is 99% vacated, save for a small number of leaseholders.
This collection of images is one part of a larger project titled Vision Quest• by visual artist and filmmaker Marcus Coates, commissioned & produced by Nomad. Vision Quest is a feature length documentary set in the South London neighbourhood of Elephant & Castle. The film documents Marcus Coates’ personal journey over a two-year residency period in the neighbourhood.
*A Vision Quest is a rite of passage undertaken in the pursuit of knowledge. This often lasts for a number of days while the individual communicates with the spirit world. Usually, a guardian animal will come in a vision or dream to guide the individual towards truth.
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