The Angle of Descent
‘Almost the last thing I did in the Air Ministry of any importance was to high-jack for Civil Aviation land on which London Airport stands under the noses of resistant Ministerial colleagues. If high jack is too strong a word I plead guilty to the lesser charge of deceiving a cabinet committee.’ - Lord Balfour of Inchrye in his 1973 Autobiography, 'Wings Over Westminster'.
A map of an area of West London is overlaid with a geometric shadow marking proposals for a huge airport expansion scheme. This cartographic haemorrhage over an otherwise unremarkable community inspires a curiosity to investigate the effects of living in the shadow of this malignant threat.
Walking around the airport and through areas earmarked for demolition heightens sensory awareness and removes me from the homogeneous flow and rotation of travel around the airport hub. This landscape is highly politicised, and reflects the complicated nature of the tensions between global economics, communities rich in local history and the natural world. Everything is connected, and no more visibly so than here.
I produced a limited run of self-published newspapers containing a transcript of a meeting between the owners of the airport and local community representatives. Parts of the dialogue I redacted at regular intervals using a thick black line to signify aircraft accelerating down the north runway, drowning out community voices.