The Showroom

Elizabeth Wright


5 June - 7 July 1996

Elizabeth Wright continues her concerns of drawing the viewers attention to that which is overlooked in an exhibition commissioned and produced by The Showroom.

In her works of the 1990s, which have involved the reducing of 'ready- made' telephone directories, the process of changing their scale meant the inevitable omission of a percentage of the entries. In attempting to physically realise the contents of a local directory research for this exhibition revealed a major housing plan, the 1944 County of London Plan, which established a vision of post-war London and focussed on the East End. The Plan proposed that the area be divided into neighbourhoods of 100 acres with zoned industry, housing and shopping. The population density, set at 136 people to an acre, ensured that 2/3rds would live in flats and meant the removal of 600,000 of the population to new towns.

As a response against this the Stepney Reconstruction Group questioned every household in the area on their existing, and type of housing preferred. This revealed that over 90% of the population wanted a house rejecting the idea of a flat as improper for a family. Despite their findings over 1,900 acres of the East End were demolished with 96% of the new residential properties built as flats.

Referring to the last question, asked by the Stepney Reconstruction Group, on the type of housing preferred a life size replica 1950s bungalow has been constructed within the gallery space.

Supported by Art Build, HARCROS Timber & Building Supplies Ltd., Joanne Outram and Price & Myers Consulting Engineers.