Wassail, 2018 by S. Mark Gubb at Berkeley Homes Vista Development. Photography: Thierry Bal
Singing the Blues, 2018 by S. Mark Gubb at Berkeley Homes Vista Development. Photography: Thierry Bal
Wassail is a series of text works and small-scale sculptural markers that link back to this area’s heritage and local landmarks. The placement of each work marks route-ways and emphasises pedestrian areas such as meeting points, public space and play areas as well as encouraging visitors and residents to explore and navigate the space, creating a journey through a series of encounters of individual artworks that make a coherent whole.
Singing the Blues
“Picture a rain-lashed night on the banks of the Thames. Jutting out from Battersea Park some hundred feet in to the river is a pier where the Queen alights should there be some function in the park. At the end of this jetty the Clash have set their stage gear up – three mikes, three monitors, three amps and a drum kit.” - Joe Strummer describing the filming of their ‘London Calling’ video in December 1979, in the foreword to ‘A Riot of Our Own’ by Johnny Green. At the end of live performances of the song, Strummer was often known to say the words, “I never felt so much a-like singing the blues…”
In 1857 Henry J Briggs discovered the Seax of Beagnoth in the River Thames at Battersea. It contains the only known complete inscription of a twenty-eight-character Anglo-Saxon runic alphabet. Sited at nine locations around the development are translations of the Anglo-Saxon greeting ‘Wassail’, literally meaning ‘be though hale/healthy’. These greetings function as ever-present well wishes to residents and visitors alike.
Weight of the Stone
Loved and loathed in equal measure, Battersea Power Station is well known for its appearance on the front of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album, ‘Animals’. Sited in the granite, in view of the power station, are the first half of the lyrics from the final track on the album, ‘Pigs on the Wing (Part Two)’. Reading as something of a love-song to the power station, they become a short poem of reflection and affection to be read whilst contemplating the history and view of the power station. Their use in this work has been granted by kind permission of Roger Waters.
In 1951, the section of Battersea Park closest to here was transformed into the Festival of Britain’s ‘Pleasure Gardens’. Now scattered through this site are twenty-one lines of text taken from a series of interviews conducted with Battersea residents about their memories of visiting the gardens. They capture the essence of the experiences of being in the gardens and now appear as a monument to an exciting time in the park and borough’s history.
A Dog Needs a Home
One of the most famous long-term Battersea residents has to be Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Known the world over for helping to rehome and reunite stray and abandoned animals, this piece is in tribute to that tireless work. The second half of the lyrics to Pink Floyd’s ‘Pigs on the Wing (Part Two)’ are set in to the granite next to the paw prints of a dog, which resided at the Home during the making of this artwork. This work was made possible through the generous involvement of the wonderful Battersea Dogs & Cats Home as well as the kind permission of Roger Waters.
On the 16th May, 1903, at 52 Winsham Grove, Battersea, Frances Mansbridge paid her husband 2 shillings and 6 pence from her house-keeping money to become the first member of 'An Association to Promote the Higher Education of Working Men'. This, equally practical and symbolic action enabled the official birth of the organisation that would go on to become the Workers Educational Association. This has since grown into an international organisation, helping millions of working people the world over to continue their education. In memory of that action, set in to the paving here is 2s 6d worth of original 1903 minted coins.
Balloons for Sale
The Short brothers, Horace, Eustace and Oswald, were the first company in the world to make production aircraft. Conveniently located in the arches next to Battersea gasworks, their business started out producing coal-gas filled air balloons for the likes of the British Indian Army. Cast in to the pavers opposite these arches, is an imagined shadow of the three young brothers waiting to cross the road towards the site of their world-changing business
You have been travelling for four sunrises. Your flask is nearly empty and there are just scraps of dried fruit left in your pack. Your feet drag over ruptured chunks of tarmac and uneven paving slabs, through which tough and resourceful plants push their heads. Deserted grey buildings are your companions, their broken glass eyes lifeless under the midday sun. Your head hangs low with tiredness and heat.
You stop. Through a buckled gate you see the unusual sight of a flickering electric sign hanging from a post in the middle of a long stone courtyard. You clamber through the twisted metal turnstile to investigate. The sign points to an open doorway, through which you see a host of electric lights blinking in a pale rainbow of colour. You enter. The room is bare apart from the lights and a descending spiral staircase. Two doors lead off to the left and right of the room but they are locked shut. Through the small glass windows in their surface you can see only darkness beyond. The room is cool, a welcome respite from the searing weather outside. You decide to follow the stairs downwards. Wide stone steps cause your footsteps to echo upward. You hold the cool metal banister, its black turned surface guiding your descent. Debris litters the less trodden parts of the steps, scraps of fabric and browned paper nesting amongst piles of dust that have gathered in corners where the stone meets the flaking painted walls. You soon find yourself on a narrow landing. Doors to your left and right have been sealed up with scraps of wooden board. In front of you is a large metal door, onto which are scratched the letters ‘H R’. You gently push the door. It swings violently inward at your touch, causing you stumble through. The door closes again before you are able to regain your balance. You spin round and try it but it will not open. There is no visible lock or handle and the door is far too thick and sturdy to break open. You sigh with resignation. It is time to explore your new surroundings.
You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.
“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks. “Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.
“Have been here before? You seem familiar. Each visit is different. The options are endless. Welcome.”
Restless traveller seeking adventure, knowledge, and happiness.
Gus Fudge is a failed rock star who now fails to make a living through various creative means. He once worked as a cabbage harvester and has spent the last ten years working on a script for a comedy series called, 'Commuter Friends' - a dark and hilarious look at the lives of a bunch of Margate to London train commuters.
We are human cyborgs with afros and beards, we wear leather jackets and Bermuda shorts, our socks are always pink. Our purpose is to investigate the unforeseen effects of global events, for example the parallel international decline of tuppée sales and the political rise of Donald Trump.
3"11' high. Loves to tinker and fix. Was a watchmaker in a grand city. Once tried to fix a nobleís large clock and found it too complex and too unfamiliar a design to repair properly. Widely scorned for 'letting the gnome folk name down'. Still scraping a living.
Raised by ninjas in Kilburn, the Orochi Pilgrim searches for his Samurai father in the foothills of the Outer Circle of the Virtual Abyss.
The space in which we all exist, on the ground, in the sky, on the internet. We will give you a place to live as long as you know how to inflate us and have a place to put us ñ bring pegs, you wouldnít want us to float away.
Born in the mid 80s, Rick is a clone from a nomadic tribe of red-cloaked women. Determined to prove his own worth, he has put his tent on air-bnb and embarked on a quest with only his yellow backpack and small fish for company. He has a speed of 6 (when walking) and crafting skills of 9
£1 family from Stoke-on-Trent - we like gardening, growing salads and visiting the green spaces in cities. There are three of us, two with strong fringes and one with a beard. We live next door to a large brownfield and an oil refinery. We are keen bird watchers.
Torridon Croft was born into a life of privilege and quickly developed an insatiable appetite for destruction. It is said that great power demands great responsibility ñ not for young Torridon. Last rumoured to be peddling the Dagger of Xian around Kensington's least reputable antiques dealers. The world turns on Torridon's wretched axis.
Follow nine players as they navigate their way through Happy Redoubt, a post disaster marketplace run by the remnants of the former technological age. They will be entering their moves in real time and will receive bespoke responses from Juneau Projects. Their game will form a unique story as they navigate the marketplace, using arts and crafts skills to survive in a new economy of making and creativity.
Three players will begin, followed by subsequent rounds of three players at a time, each making their own journey. The game will run from 19th May to 22nd July.