Brentford is a traditionally working class area in West London which has been almost completely overtaken over the past few years by major “luxury living” development and gentrification works. Resentment runs high amoungst the existing community who feel that they have been pushed aside in a tsunami of planning decisions and contstruction which will exclude all but a very few local people.
The new council devlopment stands in the middle of the biggest of these luxury developments, facing onto Brentford High Street.
I created a graphic installation with a view to creating a public celebration of the fact that the new flats are specifically aimed at providing genuinely affordable housing for the local community.
I also wanted the hoardings installation to make people smile at the end of 2 years of pandemic lockdown and restrictions, and to bring a sense of an optimistic future to the town centre vista which at the time was dominated by cranes, construction lorries and raw concrete and steel.
Recent surveys by local action group Brentford Voice had revealed that a large majority of local residents regard the waterways (brentford is built on the banks of the River Thames, and the River Brent, and at the start of the Grand Union Canal) as the most important cornerstones of the Brentford identity, so a graphical representation of the waterways formed the cornerstone of the design too.
I used a bold, bright colour palette to form an immediately obvious separation between the Council development and Ballymore’s “Brentford Project” hoardings, with their rather polite, subdued and restrained vision of future luxury apartment-living.
Leader of Hounslow Council councillor Steve Curran was more than supportive of the concept and we delivered the final installation design artwork in early March 2022.
Hoard-It Ltd produced and installed the final printed hoardings, ensuraing that sustainability and re-useability in terms of materials were integrated into the implementation process from the start.