Buckingham Palace Shanty

© GMJ, aerial photograph by Jason Hawkes

Day-to-day life in London takes advantage of new and formerly, inaccessible, spaces. GMJ explored ideas and images that convey daily life in a transformed London, where the relationship between private and public space is re-evaluated.

The artists were influenced by Tuca Vieira’s stunning photography of shanty towns in Brazil where rich and poor live alongside each other. Sprawling favelas develop around luxury flats, which stand like beacons, each one a separate oasis with private swimming pools on their balconies.

In 2010 GMJ worked on a housing project in Kariobangi, Kenya. They were struck by the inexhaustible ways that each owner customized and humanised their patch of land. Aerial views of shanty towns in Africa revealed unexpected visual beauty as by necessity, the conurbations of an urban community grow organically around areas of commerce or food sources.

Inspired by the ingenuity of the Kenyan shanty homes, GMJ modeled up a sample of 90 homes of which multiple versions were digitally positioned on to an aerial view of Buckingham Palace. Individual details were added, from wisps of cooking smoke to a myriad of different coloured roofs. The final image depicts 20 million separate shanty dwellings emphasizing how many separate families occupy the space. They live on top of each other right up to the perimeter of the Palace that floats in a private enclave of land that exists to house one family.

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One Comment

  1. Teea
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Is this a royally correct picture ? Across all these photographs I an happy to see that in the future despite being over crowded and starving we will keep our calm, order and clean streets.

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