Intervention [JM] – Shelter

Pre-Christmas intervention task:

My work focused on Hackney Wick’s feeling of ‘otherness.’ As a place, it is full of ‘other’ spaces; marginal land where ownership, rights and appropriation are manifest in ambiguous and multiple ways. These places include some of the yards, derelict factories and left-over strips of land next to the canal, railway and raised roads. This work looks closely at one such instance; under the bridges of the Wick. Here, outside of the dual pervasive gaze of ‘security’ and development, there were signs of homeless occupation. This study took this as inspiration, analysing a typical (if hypothetical) condition and drawing out how specific tools of appropriation (cardboard, bags, a sleeping bag etc.) mixed with the condition created that persons own ownership of the space; an ownership without distinct (defensive) boundaries – unlike most of the Wick.

Additionally, i was interested in how a space that might be deemed to be fearful (under a bridge – dark, echoing, out of sight, constrictive) for some might be sanctuary for others. This lead into looking at how a shelter for a homeless person might increase a feeling of sanctuary, but might also put their existence in danger (more defined boundary = greater risk of displacement / increase in contestion of ownership of the space).

This is forming themes that will be continued into further work: rights to space / ambiguity in ownership / potentiality in marginal land / otherness / inversions of norms (eg. fear / sanctuary) or multiplicities of interpretations / etc.

(lots more to follow – i hope!)

Quote on marginal land / terrains vague:

these ‘places exist outside the city’s effective circuits and productive structures … [they represent places] where the city is no longer.’ (De Sola Morales, 1995)






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