There’s a vacant art deco shop that I pass everyday. Its in the back of beyond piece of shit parade that is in a place called Southgate. But its right outside Southgate station. You would think that is prime location. However it’s not.

It’s the worst possible place for a retail unit. Once there would have been promise. Once there would have been hope. But now there is just pity. Pity for the rates these people must pay and the un-affluent footfall they receive despite being right next to a tube. Its quality you need not quantity. Who can survive here? There are no high street chains, there is no gentrification. It is dismal, sad, lonely and forgotten. Just a place to walk through and miss.

This empty shop, just outside the station, however is magical, with its rounded window, its panoramic shop front and its rooms of history that I can see through the windows. What was here? What business started with excitement, then closed due to failure? If only I could lease it. I would make it a studio, a place to call my own. A gallery, I would add colour to this dreary parade. Stuck between a grotty kebab house and an eerie fancy dress shop it is motionless in a time warp.

For the 2nd interim piece I have printed this out to the dimensions of 1.5 x 1m and am projecting video footage of oxford street and littering the floor with empty receipt rolls.

This is the most conceptual piece I have done. It shows the juxtaposition of the bright lights and buzziness of oxford street contrasting with the sadness of southgate.


Joanna Gilbert