My practice is concerned with concepts of space and identity, both factual and fictional. Centred on a derelict and dilapidated house, this installation questions the truth behind a presented biography of the last occupant 'Mr Ledger'.
Initially discovering this space on walks through the countryside surrounding my home in Kent, I have become fascinated with the poetic nostalgia of the man-made remains taken over by nature. The space itself consists of two crumbling brick chimneys, a rusted car and a large quantity of glass vessels (quite bizarrely the majority being Bovril jars) in an overgrown area of woodland, about a mile away from the village.
Mr Ledger was a middle aged, quiet, conservatively dressed man who lived in the former bungalow until the early 1960s. His disappearance seemed to be urgent; the house was abandoned still containing some of his possessions. As detailed in the installation, the house remained unoccupied and fell into disrepair, until one night in the 1980s it suffered from an arson attack, destroying the wooden exterior. The remains of the house are at risk of further ruin by the forces of nature affecting the surrounding woodland; the rusted metal bodywork of the car is wedged underneath a collapsed tree, which has bent most of the upper bodywork. Fortunately the land will remain untouched by developers for the next few years at least, due to a history of failed planning permissions from the local council, preserving what is left of a former life.
Aided by local research at first, this project developed into an obsession over time and gradually the factual evidence has become distorted by the fictional and my own imagination. In many ways, Mr Ledger is no longer a person; his many facets present him as more of a fictional or theatrical character. As of yet, there is no convincing evidence as to what happened to Mr Ledger after his disappearance.
The many stories of Mr Ledger are in the form of handwritten letters, factual text, drawings, photographs and objects. These have been carefully selected from a larger archive.
Summer Shows 2012
Join us to celebrate creativity and spot the stars of the future this summer. Eclectic exhibitions of art, design, fashion, communication and performance are taking place at sites across London from April to September and are free to attend.More information