A Walk with Hazel

Towards the end of her 2 week residency at AirSpace, i went out for a walk with Hazel France, ostensibly to show her the site of the former Stoke-on-Trent Garden Festival, and the sense of being immersed within  a city centre rural idyll.

The walk continued northwards through Grange Park and in to Burslem. The return walk was instructive as we passed a set of new builds. It seems that the house-building hiatus in the city which followed the collapse of the Pathfinder scheme and then exacerbated by the 2008 financial crash which saw the end of universal credit and 100%+ mortgages, is finally starting to show signs of ending.

There are small pockets of new house development emerging. These are the houses that are replacements for the staple northern workers' house - the utilitarian terrace.

I'm drawn to the newness, and sense of utopia. I'm drawn also to the lack of community analagous to that new, unlived-in-ness. And I'm drawn to the aspirational signage employed by the housing companies.

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