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Art at home in the QMUL School of Geography

Friday 5 June 2015

The School of Geography says farewell to French artist Nadege Meriau following a successful three-month residency in which she explored ‘Home Futures’ at a modernist high-rise estate, the Aylesbury Estate in South London.

Working in collaboration with the School’s Dr Richard Baxter, Meriau’s residency was funded by the Creativeworks London Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence grant which enables a creative entrepreneur to do a short-term placement with a research partner. It allowed Meriau to research the Aylesbury Estate, work and discuss ideas with Dr Baxter and produce a short film. “The film is a metaphor. We see the gradual melting of a honeycomb structure made by bees. It communicates the importance of the collective in post-war modernist architecture and how its utopian vision has been unmade over time,” Dr Baxter explained. Artist Nadege has also produced a model of a future sculpture about alternative futures and community-led housing.

The artwork and film will be part of an exhibition at The Geffrye Museum of the Home in 2016, which connects to Dr Baxter’s Leverhulme Trust-funded research that is providing a biography of the Aylesbury Estate as a place of home.

Dr Baxter, who teaches on the third-year undergraduate module ‘Geography, Architecture and the City’, said Meriau’s residency had resulted in a creative dialogue between the art, academic and museum worlds. “Building on the School’s reputation for collaboration and public engagement, the artwork and exhibition will enable the innovative sharing of research ideas with a public audience.”

Dr Baxter’s work here in the School of Geography is affiliated with the Centre for Studies of Home – a collaboration between Queen Mary University of London and the Geffrye Museum of the Home also here in East London. The centre’s academics explore domesticity, interior design and broader ideas about belonging and identity.

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