Friday, February 03, 2012

Heygatecrash - The Heygate Revisited

Last year I went down to the Heygate, that sprawling estate of what policy makers now like to call post war social housing (rather than council housing) at the Elephant and Castle. The residents of the estate have now been 'decanted' (which makes them sound like a fine wine rather than council tenants) to the four corners of the borough probably never to return and the buildings are now mostly boarded up and awaiting demolition. It is still possible however to walk around the estate and one or two residents are hanging on in there. The atmosphere is peculiar there is a certain post nuclear depopulation, one sees hardly a soul and yet one can hear the traffic from some of London's busiest arterial roads which are a moment away. From the outside The Heygate may appear to be comprised mostly of slab like concrete blocks but its low rise buildings which make up its core were always surrounded by trees. These pockets of green now untended are spouting prodigiously in that unkempt way that nature has of reasserting itself.

I went to the Heygate armed with a couple of Snappy Snap disposable cameras. It proved however to be a lot more difficult to 'capture' the feel of the Heygate than it has been with Folkestone station or Cliffe Marshes.  I quickly assembled the best pics together and added a soundtrack from David Cain's the Seasons. Little more than a trial it does look better than I remember it. See Heygatecrash here.

Other ongoing projects down at the Heyagte by other artists are also available.