© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones, aerial photograph by Jason Hawkes
Day-to-day life in London takes advantage of new and formerly, inaccessible, spaces. Graves and Madoc Jones explored ideas and images that convey daily life in a transformed London, where the relationship between private and public space is re-evaluated.
The artists were influenced by Tuca Vieira’s stunning photography of shanty towns in Brazil where rich and poor live alongside each other. Sprawling favelas develop around luxury flats, which stand like beacons, each one a separate oasis with private swimming pools on their balconies.
In 2010 Graves and Madoc-Jones worked on a housing project in Kariobangi, Kenya. They were struck by the inexhaustible ways that each owner customized and humanised their patch of land. Aerial views of shanty towns in Africa revealed unexpected visual beauty as by necessity, the conurbations of an urban community grow organically around areas of commerce or food sources.
Inspired by the ingenuity of the Kenyan shanty homes, Graves and Madoc-Jones modeled up a sample of 90 homes of which multiple versions were digitally positioned on to an aerial view of Buckingham Palace. Individual details were added, from wisps of cooking smoke to a myriad of different coloured roofs. The final image depicts 20 million separate shanty dwellings emphasizing how many separate families occupy the space. They live on top of each other right up to the perimeter of the Palace that floats in a private enclave of land that exists to house one family.
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