Blueprint or Capitalist Enclave

Posted on July 31, 2015


“London Docklands proved to be a highly controversial example of urban regeneration, polarising opinion between those who pointed to a blueprint for successful free market inner city regeneration…and those who viewed it as the architectural embodiment of Thatcherism including fortified capitalist enclaves.”    Andrew Tallon (2013) Urban Regeneration in the UK (New York: Routledge)

This quotation from Andrew Tallon who is a senior lecturer in Urban Policy at the University of the West of England provide much food for thought about how I might approach my project about the redevelopment and regeneration of East London. My idea would be to explore this dichotomy in some way. As I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog in exploring this subject I am interesting in using some form of traditional printing/processing to reference the past within the modern context of the subject of my images. On reflection it seems to me that the metaphoric impact of the mode of presentation could go much further than simply a reference to time. For example if I were to print the images as cyanotypes, I would implicitly be referencing the idea of the ‘blueprint’ or plan. Cyanotypes were for many years used by engineers as a means of copying their plans. Here are a couple of images of East London presented as somewhat crude (I’m learning) cyanotypes.

Blueprint exploration-2

Royal Albert Dock ©Keith Greenough 2015

Blueprint exploration-1

Leman Street ©Keith Greenough 2015

I could take this approach much further. For example I could produce the images in the same way as engineers used to produce their blueprints, i.e. as negative images. I could also contemplate printing them large and for an exhibition pinning them to the wall as an engineer might with a plan…

Here is a very crude example of this form of blueprint…

Blueprint exploration-3

Leman Street (cropped) as negative ©Keith Greenough 2015

Food for thought here…