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Estuarial Lives

An exhibition of signage inspired by writer Iain Sinclair’s documentary fiction Estuarial Lives, held in September 2004 at the Great Eastern Hotel, London. The exhibition was opened with a talk by Iain Sinclair and myself.

“In Dining on Stones, a novel that lurched between the south coast and the A13, I referred to an earlier book called Estuarial Lives. I struggle to explain the genesis of this fictional documentary. I took the decision that the road would have to be walked. Every yard of it. Aldgate to the sea: through memory, mess, corruption, dying industries, political scams, satellite shopping cities buried in chalk quarries. The magic lay in acts of recognition and recovery, privileged glimpses into the collaged landscape of futurology (deserted retail palaces) and mountains of scrap metal. Lost roads and epic schemes…”
Iain Sinclair, 2004

I chose to respond to the text by selecting extracts and transforming them into ten pieces of signage reflecting the landscapes encountered by Sinclair on his journey from Beckton Alp to Shoeburyness in May 2004. The signs use materials and techniques such as neon, backlit perspex, sandblasted glass, etched metal, road signage, metal containers and chalk on blackboard.

Presented at Great British Design, an international conference at St Bride Printing Library, in June 2007. Featured in Design Week November 2006 and Zembla in 2004. Sponsored by the The National Art Collections Fund. Curated by Susanna Edwards, Phillipa Jarvis and Rowan Drury.