Sanctum Ephemeral
Project info

A series created over a number of years about the ephemeral existence of residents on a blighted housing estate in London.

These pictures invoke the ephemera from which we invent ourselves.

The context of these pictures is also ephemeral. Property developers have cast a shadow over the homes in these photographs.

I have pressing conversations with neighbours. We shed frustration. The impositions are beyond our control. Proposals beyond comprehension.

'There’s nothing wrong with my house. Why do they want to knock it down?'

Words fail us. We feel impotent and angry.

People let me into their homes. I hear stories; gather evidence. Some of it makes sense. Some of it troubling. The rooms, the memories and the inhabitants reflect each other. Empty rooms as full as those overflowing. We talk about making pictures. We shape inanimate tableaus. An ephemeral trust develops.

An old Jamaican man tells me…

'When you wake you should knock three times on your pillow to remember your dreams.'

I ask people about their dreams…

I speak with children. They dream of what might be.

I speak with adults. Some want to know what happened.

Others know that while they were dreaming, the world became their dream.

I learn that everything is ephemeral and that if there is such a thing as sanctuary, it lies within this understanding.


Mark Aitken, 2016

Sanctum Ephemeral - work sample in progress for exhibition and publication 2017

Salon16 Photofusion Special Mention
Photomonth Photo Open 2016 Nominee