Since 2007, Bobby Lloyd has been artist-in-residence at St Andrews, a mixed-use housing development project in Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets. She was first commissioned by the developers, Barratt East London, when the site was still occupied by the empty but intact St Andrews Hospital, staying the course as one thousand homes have been built on the site. Her remit was initially to provide concept proposals for permanent art-pieces for the new development. However, by becoming a member of the team she has taken the unique vantage of responding as an artist to the site’s changes over several years, producing a series of public art pieces across the site and working with the various architectural practices, technical staff, builders, craftspeople and labourers as and when the work has called for this. Lloyd also ran a series of art workshops at two local primary schools leading to artworks for the site hoardings, and photographed the demolition process over fifteen months.
The photograph above was taken on 24 January 2008 by Bobby Lloyd during the demolition of the hospital. It was selected for the lobby area of the new 27 floor tower from several thousand photographs and has resonated with those designing, building and working on the St Andrews development. The photograph shows a landscape painting that had been part of a mural that covered the walls of the hospital boardroom. In the photograph it is exposed to the elements with the building demolished around it. It measures almost 6 metres long and was printed by Metro Imaging in Clerkenwell.
The brick wall below is made up of approximately 2,250 Victorian bricks from the original St Andrews hospital building. The design acts as a tribute to the stacking method and pattern used by a small group of African labourers who worked consistently on the removal of mortar and hand-stacking of hundreds of thousands of bricks throughout the fifteen month period that Bobby Lloyd photographed the hospital demolition. Lloyd worked closely with Glenn Howells Architects in conceiving the layout, and with the bricklayers during construction, 2011.
In order to reconnect with the objects found on site and create a narrative that linked the various public art pieces to date, as well as a new art piece for St Andrews Park, Bobby Lloyd worked with Creative Art Casting to cast in resin five objects in sets of five to embed in the Gabion walls. Acting as a treasure hunt for local families, leading from Dames Road up to Bromley-by-Bow station, the objects include a Victorian brick (as above), one of the numerous footballs, a grinding stone, a cast iron wheel and one of the drain covers (used for the pattern in the balconies).