On May 24, 2004, artists Bobby Lloyd and Caroline Christie were early on the scene of the Momart art storage warehouse fire in which a number of important British art works were destroyed. In subsequent days and weeks, they also managed to gain access – for twenty minutes each day during a tea break – to the ruins of the Britart fire via the demolition company. The destruction of many important pieces from the 1950s onwards – including work by Patrick Heron, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin – was regarded by many as a tragic and profound loss to the nation’s culture. Amongst the rubble the artists also found fragments of British pottery and life-size bronzes, most of which had been re-fired in the blaze and had taken on a disturbing as well as at times beautiful patina. Other pieces of sculpture whose provenance was unknown emerged from the rubble. In 2007 Lloyd and Christie photographed the new building going up on the site of the original warehouse. It was the artists’ aim to explore the geographical, emotional and metaphorical landscapes of the controversial sites featured in Painted Deserts, their subsequent exhibition at SPACE on Mare Street during the summer 2007.
This image was shown as a lightbox as part of ‘Ranconteur’, August Art Gallery, Shoreditch, 2012.