Unreal Estates, an exhibition and website

I’ve just been awarded Arts Council funding to curate an exhibition and website about domestic interiors.

Six London-based painters will each work with a writer, together looking at a property being advertised within a mile of Homefinders Estate Agents, London E8 (where the final exhibition will take place). Working together, they will create an interpretation, story or narrative about this property – expressed through a series of images and a short text.

I’m incredibly excited to work with these artists and writers, each of whom makes brilliant work and I’m looking forward to seeing what they produce together.

Check out their work:

Writers: Martin Jackson, John Z. KomurkiPortals of London, Karina Lickorish Quinn.

Artists: Hannah Bays, Dawn Beckles, Elysia Byrd, Héloïse Delègue, Brian McKenzie, Anna Jung Seo. (click to enlarge)

Part of the idea will be to tour this to other cities, with each iteration featuring local artists and writers. For more about the ideas behind the project, see the description below:

Unreal Estates

Domestic interiors are private and personal – until they’re online. The growth of property-listing websites has led to the widespread dissemination of images of interiors – albeit residential spaces that are increasingly empty, homogeneous, even bland. Whether for purchase (e.g. Zillow, Rightmove), tourism (Airbnb), or rental (Craigslist, Kijiji, Gumtree), spaces where domestic dramas would be played out are becoming generic non-places for investment or consumption.

‘Unreal Estates’ is an exhibition that takes place in a working Estate Agency on a busy shopping street, using the walls of the space as well as the agent’s window advertisements.

Six artists, whose work investigates the interior landscape, work in collaboration with six writers. Each artist-writer pair produces a series of 2D works and a short text responding to homes being advertised in the local area. The artists proposed hold a range of attitudes towards depicting the subtleties, intrigues and emotions found in domestic settings. The texts produced perhaps resemble an estate agent’s property description, but in fact contain a story more revealing or profound.

Together, images and text simulate real estate marketing material – albeit material that explores dialogues such as: the house as a place of sanctuary but also confinement; the idea of home – representing domestic bliss but also ennui; and interior aesthetics – fantasies of self-expression, simultaneously articulating the boundaries of class/national identity.

The artworks and text afterwards populate a replica property-listings website, unreal-estates.org, taking on a life beyond the physical exhibition.