Suburbia, at the edge of, and in-between Englands cities, is the place where most reside. Stereotypically, suburbia is full of identical semi-detached houses. But English suburbia is much more diverse - everything from council estates to grandiose privately built suburban Victoriana. All conceived in the spirit of optimism as a progression from the squalor of the city for the aspiring classes. This book is a visual exploration into the latest chapter of Englands suburban landscape. The New Towns Act 1946, was an act of Parliament that allowed the government to designate areas of England as new town spaces.
Growing up living in Andover, a small, boring market town, heavily affected by the New Towns Act, I am a dweller in the apparent “strictly-functional” designs of the post-modern town. As time has gone by the glaring faults in the initial blue prints are very real. In many ways the 21st Century suburb faces the same problems as the city. There is crumbling infrastructure, with hollowed out High Streets. There is the ever-increasing pressure on public services as a result of the population increase. These New Town designs had a shelf life and now they are rotting from the inside out.
In this book I aimed to capture the feeling of listlessness and the dissatisfaction arising from these dying towns, like the smoke from the identical chimney pots of Englands future. More than a photobook, it’s an uncomfortable, aesthetic sample of a day in the life of someone residing in an overspill town and its mundanities. It is an insight into the shiny new housing developments and the not so gleaming, of Andover and its contrast with the birthplace of the ‘new town’, Stevenage, with its neglected modernistic aspirations.
A branding project involving a new art and design festival that utilises dormant industrial spaces in Portsmouth.