Emily Dawson

"Behind the Hoarding: Misrepresentation on the Aylesbury Estate"

Section MS1, Kamil Dalkir

Keywords: installation, model-making, objects, home

Channel 4 launched their first ident in 1982 which featured coloured shapes coming together to form a puzzle logo. Since then, the channel have created hundreds more that vary from depicting scenes of haystacks to bowling greens and from rural to urban in their setting. The media strategy relating to the channels viewing demographic reveals the power of popular culture imagery. Extracting information from Channel 4’s Style Guide gives insight into their specific use of particular media to have a stronger appeal to certain groups over others and their understanding of what an advertisement needs to say and to whom it speaks.

In one example, Channel 4 created an ident that panned through Aylesbury housing estate in south London. The representation of the estate had been manipulated by adding layers of garbage, satellite dishes and graffiti to the scene which resulted in a negative portrayal of the area, the place appeared abandoned and unloved. A decade later the residents responded to this false representation of their homes by creating their own version of the ident in which they aimed to portray the true life within the estate. The uncovering of this chain of events concerning Aylesbury estate has compelled me to create a third piece in this story of remediation.

Further research into depictions of Aylesbury in the media gave me knowledge on what I would be representing. This included a visit to the estate which revealed that the housing blocks were currently undergoing a process of demolition, block by block. One area of the estate was completely cut off by hoarding. Designed into the hoarding were a series of “peep holes” in which passers by could supposedly watch the demolition process. However, you could not actually see through these designated holes as a result of them being blocked from behind. Instead, towering above the hoarding you could distinguish large piles of rubble and a clear void of where a housing block used to stand. 

The subsequent project is an interactive installation in the form of peep show devices that are placed onto the hoarding wall within the housing estate. This therefore completes the triptych in the story of the mediation of Aylesbury Estate.