Project info

The series of portraits depict eight property guardians of a disused school in Hackney Downs, London.

The school, built in 1969, was in use until 2014 for children with learning difficulties. Located in the centre of Hackney, the school became a guardianship property for 14 months, before being demolished and developed into two high rise tower blocks in 2016.

Despite the school's uncertain future the property guardians remained creative and resilient; repurposing the space and breathing new life into the old classrooms. The single-storey breeze-block building had a distinctive architecture featuring semi-circle windows in ultramarine blue and all the regular school facilities: a jungle gym, basketball courts, assembly hall.

The portraits are a window into the way they lived their life and aims to immerse you in the property guardian experience, exploring themes of uncertainty, change, our inextricable link to the temporary nature of things, and the question of our legacy: what do we want left standing and what do we leave to be destroyed?

Knowing that the school would eventually be demolished, and that the effortless community established by the guardians was a rare occurrence in cohabiting in London, I felt that I had to document the building, the guardians and the school’s last purpose.