Caroline Christie & Bobby Lloyd ‘Painted Deserts’

3 May — 23 June 2007
SPACE Mare Street

An installation responding to two sites in East London: the London Olympic area of the Lower Lea Valley and the MOMART art warehouse at Leyton. In May 2004 a fire took place in a large industrial buiding in Leyton. At its centre was a warehouse used by the art storage company MOMART to store artworks including those from a number of important collections. The fire destroyed most of the contents. The artists photographically documented the fire’s aftermath, including the building’s demolition and subsequent site clearance and two years later the construction of a new industrial building on the site.

In the outdoor courtyard they installed a series of large photographs printed on steel and a 40 tonne 7 week interactive sandpit built in the shape of the Olympic park, built with the help of OJ.Murphy & Sons, one of the engineering and construction contractors working on site. On Saturdays throughout the exhibition, the public were invited to join open sandcastle building events to created their own landscape.

On Site Arts was a small arts organisation based in East London. It was established in 2004 by Caroline Christie and Bobby Lloyd to explore the crossover between different models of photographic practice and the way in which artists can traverse a range of settings and agendas. On Site Arts also develops photographic projects with communities, such as those due to be displaced from the Olympic area. It has established itself as an organisation able to pick up on local themes that have wider cultural, social and political relevance. 

Caroline Christie and Bobby Lloyd began collaborating together out of a shared curiosity in changeable territories in East London that connected with their independent experiences of working within other unpredictable urban environments outside of the UK. Their work builds on their respective art practices in which they have both used photography over a number of years.