Queenstown . The Last 7 .
Truth is stranger than fiction.
This is a project completed over 2 years and based on the last people left living in Queenstown high rise flats, Blackpool. Queenstown has the highest male suicide rate in Blackpool and Blackpool has the highest male suicide rate in the country.
These Flats are now demolished and I felt it was important to have an accurate historical record and testimony to how the community lived in this “Notorious“ area for the benefit of future generations. To preserve their memory’s and archive how the inhabitants endured in their environment and the buildings they lived in. Thus revealing culturally significant problems in their life, caused by living in a dwindling form of housing that was built to maximise on the densities and amounts of people living in that area of land and not their ‘quality of life’.
I always collect audio on the go, producing unique tangible and visual accounts of all my sitters’ lives and their time spent living on Queenstown. I am keen to create a relationship with each of them, this helps reveal their personal story’s and memory’s of good times ...and bad. This live testimony from each occupant expressing their individual views and feelings towards their rehoming and past experiences on Queenstown adds another layer which helped me gain insight and in-depth understanding of the Queenstown people. The work provides a truthful visual statement that shows how different social classes live.
Huge gaps in wealth and class cause major problems in our society of which suicide, drugs and violence are a common relief expressed among the precariat, rapidly producing instability in our society, as in Queenstown.
I tell a story of ordinary people striving to live alongside social problems, ‘Working class people surviving together amongst the dystopia’, how society has installed rules and ideas to influence and affect them, manifesting themselves clearly amongst the residents, people living their lives accordingly through these concepts as if normal. These people are an enduring proud sub culture leaving their old estate behind with a strong desire for a better future.
“Ultimately, I hope to bring a window of reality through which the audience can see a truth they would otherwise be blind to. Showing what it means to be a sand-grown on Queenstown Estate and what these people actually do. To highlight how areas of social segregation with decreased social mobility cause deprivation that promote undesirable, negative, dysfunctional behaviours. Such behaviours invariably create a mind-set of disassociation.