In 2010, I began working on an art project entitled A Way to a Place. Drawing inspiration from Edouard Levé’s Oeuvres, a book describing 553 artworks Levé thought about but never produced, I started to create a series of pieces methodically following the author’s instructions.
Work #177 was described as a series of photographs of objects abandoned in the street by people moving home on Sundays. I started my search in Hackney – my neighbourhood at the time – walking down residential streets with my polaroid camera. Fly-tipping was very common in the area but what I would usually consider a nuisance was now becoming a precious treasure. It didn’t take long for me to find my first discarded mattress and the first photo was taken.
Every Sunday, I became more and more excited about embarking on journeys around London seeking discarded junk. I remember my trepidation when around Edmonton I found my first TV and a vacuum cleaner half covered by a threadbare Persian rug and again, just around the corner, a wobbly stack of broken drawers and a plastic ride-on car.
Within a few months I had accumulated countless stained mattresses, three-legged chairs and sofa carcasses but the work desperately needed more variety. I decided to take my Polaroid camera on holiday, believing that unusual items were more likely to surface in foreign places, but scouring the streets of New York, Berlin and Paris, I soon realised that western capital cities would only offer similar rejects. Nevertheless, I was totally thrilled when I found a fax machine outside an old firehouse in DUMBO, Brooklyn almost a year after the project started. And the search continued.