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Poet’s Estate. Film / Sapphire Goss, Sound / William Doyle

Part of the wider Your Wilderness Revisited project.


These places, they are everywhere and could be anywhere.


In the nondescript edgelands of Britain there are hundreds of estates like this - overlooked spaces of identikit homes. On this estate in Newport Pagnell the cul-de-sacs are named after poets –Wordsworth Avenue, Keats Close, Flora Thompson Drive.


Here I was on the cusp of becoming a person, soaking up secondhand life experience, while marking nondescript places with personal milestones. During endless, dull days waiting, life is so theoretical yet so vivid  – vague and abstract and exotic. Pasts and futures are telescoped – from personal memories at the turn of the millennium to a hidden 1000-year-old Saxon church. Long before England existed, this area was at the bottom of a primeval sea. 


The chapters are named after mysterious lost landmarks from old maps made before the estate was built – Hoo wood, Burnt Covert, Lakelane Spinney, their imprints perceptible in the bricks, in the soil, sometimes a leftover school or street name, but largely replaced by the generic – Welcome Lodge Services, Red House. The film cycles between perspectives, spaces and times to create a new mythology from the personal, the commonplace and the eternal. The mundane can be deeply strange when you pay attention.

This project emerged from several others including Tracing the Pathway, Eternity City & Lug-Li. It was first shown at Notes on a Periphery at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen, curated by Jon Blackwood. The catalogue is available here:

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