A development from my 'Photography in 3D' project.
Though an exact figure is hard to define, most sources agree between 9 and 15% of land in England is said to be developed. However, with the UK government pledging to build 300,000 new homes in England per year, it is only a matter of time before this figure rises.
9-15% may sound quite small, but approximately 73% of the remaining land is farmland, meaning new homes have little place to go but on the ever-diminishing areas of ‘natural’ land left in England.
Creating enough homes for our increasing population is of course vital but we must not forget that we are not the only species living here. Every time we start building a new house, we are not simply ‘creating a new home’. We are converting land from the homes of thousands of species of plants, animals and fungi into the home of just one species – homo sapiens.
In order to highlight the complex relationship between humans, nature, and the idea of ‘home’, I decided to create a single object that would represent the two stages of the land – the home for wildlife and the home for humans. My solution was to create a sculpture of a house placed on undeveloped land that has planning permission for a new house. The sculpture acts as a site-specific installation, warning of what is to come.
The sculpture is light sensitive and so records the passage of time as it slowly turns from white to blue. Where plants grow near the sculpture they block the light, leaving a pale shadow on the sculpture’s surface. Thus, in the future the sculptures will change from a warning to a reminder of what is lost in the need for housing to accommodate our growing population.