It is almost as if the subprime mortgage crisis, which directly led to the global economic crash of 2008, never happened. An overheated housing market fuelled by access to cheap debt is driving prices ever skyward.
Modern Living is a response to the current housing crisis in the UK (and beyond). Combining conceptualist typology with advertising imagery, my aim is to make work that is both visually engaging but also socially critical. The perfectionist rendering of the bricks create objects of desire, which I hope hold viewers attention long enough to reflect and consider their metaphorical significance.
Continuing annual price rises have lead owners to re-evaluate the value and role of their homes as a source of equity for: university fees; deposits for first homes; and care fees. Investment in buy to let has given returns of up to 1,400% since 1996. Whilst homeownership remains a key life-goal, for most young people it is ‘generation rent’.
Three million people in the UK are driven into poverty because of the high relative cost of their housing. Poor housing costs the National Health Service £1.4bn per year and in England, more than one million children live in overcrowded conditions.
We all need somewhere to live, somewhere to sleep, somewhere to call home; housing is central to our health and wellbeing. But for many, a secure affordable home remains elusive.