The Architect is a five-channel multiscreen audio and video installation consisting of multiple viewpoints of the physical and social landscape of North East England; with intermittent and overlapping sounds of industry and situated narrative that have spatial dialogue with each other. This forces the audience to be aware of multiple focal points, representative of the multifaceted nature of the social realm.
The intention is to get the audience to question who is the architect? And further, the architect of what? The focus is not just on the physical materiality of the industrial landscape portrayed in the films but of the evident social system at play. Questions arise of who built this system and who maintains the power dynamics that result in the loss of employment, the housing crisis and the limited opportunities for upward social mobility.
The sounds of active steel works against recently mothballed industry; due to political decision making and the current doctrine of austerity. The sound of wind sweeping through derelict council houses. The Silence that accompanies a gentle exploration of the interior of a care home resident's private bedroom, symbolising a loss of self and the ability to speak and withstand. This footage both compliments and fights against the last two films.
The visuals of kids playing on coastal sewage lines, accompany a personal conversation between the subjects and the person behind the camera, discussing their hopes and aspirations for the future. The final film cuts to an oil rig situated in the middle of the grasslands, in the process of being deconstructed; no longer existing in its current state. The visuals cut and are instead replaced with a black screen and a monologue of a woman talking about end of life wishes, a week before her death; the landscape situated in her accent. These films act as a spatial dialogue that bring the five screens together.
The space in which the installation exists is wallpapered with care to highlight the architecture of the gallery space, which is stereotypically seen as elite and welcoming to a certain class of person. The use of domestic aesthetics highlights my personal need to create a home for myself between the hybridity of social class, situating my working-class industrial background within an elite, middle-class space; both loved and handled with care, yet both negative in their embrace and empty.