Connected by a shared interest in the history and legacy of Balfron Tower, Alan McFetridge, Sinead Bligh, James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous present Flat 15 and Flat 12 of Erno Goldfinger ís iconic high rise building.
It is within this unique situation and space that McFetridge, Bligh, Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous come together to explore the specific context of Balfron Tower as both a community, and site of social concern and consequential displacement. The artists consider the importance of who has inhabited the building, who is present in the spaces now, and who will utilise this environment in the future.
Through a combined presentation, the artists prompt an open discussion of the social, political, economic and personal implications of displacement and presence within this particular site and community. Inhabiting two vacated flats that though mirrored, imply visibly different histories, their interventions open up a space for interaction, discussion and consideration located at the heart of Balfron Tower itself.
Completed in 1967 in Poplar, East London, the 26 storey Modernist structure of Balfron Tower consists of 136 flats and 10 maisonettes designated for habitation by social housing tenants. After being granted Grade II listing in March 1996, ownership was transferred from Tower Hamlets Council to Poplar HARCA Housing Association in 2007 when the building was designated for extensive refurbishment indicating the beginning of the gradual rehousing of an historic community. In the intervening years Bow Arts Trust has provided work/live spaces for artists at Balfron Tower and managed education, environmental and cultural work in the local community. In 2014 the few remaining residents, and temporary community of artists and property guardians who have inhabited the Balfron Tower over the past 4 four years will depart in order to make way for the imminent refurbishment of this iconic building.
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Erno Goldfinger's concept of Streets in the Air is represented in this block of 12 portraits of people that are either living or directly associated with the tower in 2014. The background colours are based on the coloured tiles used on each Street.
Left to Right:Erno Goldfinger's concept of Streets in the Air is represented in this block of 12 portraits of people that are either living or directly associated with the tower in 2014. The background colours are based on the coloured tiles used on each Street.
Left to Right: