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Lucy Harrision: Home on High

Date uploaded: August 27, 2014

Lucy Harrison has been commissioned by The Legacy List to create a new piece of work in collaboration with local residents on the Brownfield Estate, London. As part of 'Home on High' the artist has created a film which will be screened inside a flat on the 24th floor of Erno Goldfinger's brutalist Balfron Tower, between the 5th and the 21st of September 2014.

Lucy Harrison’s investigations are collaborative, highly sensitive and nuanced, resulting in art works that are shaped by the memories of the people who participate within them. Harrison works with places that have real resonance for people and she makes remarkable discoveries, uncovering worlds of connections and revealing deep and rich layers of hidden meaning. 

Harrison’s new project, is entitled Home on High and takes place at the Balfron Tower, London, UK between the 5th and 21st September 2014, every Friday to Sunday, 12-6pm, and booking is required. The project is part of the Balfron Season, delivered in partnership with Bow Arts Trust and Poplar HARCA.

This new project has seen Harrison working intensively with residents of the Brownfield Estate in Poplar, which includes the iconic Grade II listed Balfron Tower, designed by ErnÅ‘ Goldfinger in 1963, a prominent example of Brutalist architecture. The Brownfield Estate has been described by writer on architecture Owen Hatherley as “designed with an attention to detail and quality of materials unusual for the 60s or any other decade”.

In Harrison’s research it is the detail of people’s lives set within the context of the Brownfield Estate that she focuses on. Details that go beyond the structure of the buildings, beyond the official histories to reveal fascinating stories that tell us more than the official narrative ever could.

As part of Home on High, Harrison has made a new film documenting the memories of one of the first families to live in the Balfron Tower. The couple moved into their flat in 1968 with their 8 day old baby, and were neighbours to the architect Goldfinger himself, who lived there for a period in order to experience his own building at firsthand.

The film shows remaining members of the family making a moving journey to re-visit their old flat, many years after leaving Balfron Tower. In the footage Harrison slowly reveals details of both the journey the family have taken, and details about the texture and interior life of the building.

Lucy Harrison’s way of working is both skilful and understated. She explores how people relate to place. Working with their personal recollections and anecdotal information she gradually excavates complex new ‘structures’ built of memories and once revealed they become indelibly intertwined with the architectural form. Through Harrison’s work our understanding of place is deeply enriched.

A new limited edition publication designed by Modern Activity will also be launched as part of the project, including writing by local residents produced in workshops run by Lucy Harrison and Rehana Zaman, and anonymous contributions placed in a post box on the estate during the project.

To find out more or to book a place on a tour click here.

Production still 'Home on High' by Lucy Harrison  Photo: Sam Hepworth 2014

Production still 'Home on High' by Lucy Harrison Photo: Sam Hepworth 2014