Words: Dylan Murphy
The new installation by Avril Corroon in Projects Art Centre centres on damp in the home as part of a wider exploration of housing inequality.
Today, Avril Corroon launches a new installation in Projects Arts Centre named ‘GOT DAMP PÚSCADH ANUAS’. Funded by Arts Council of Ireland, Dublin City Council and Arts Council England and Running until June 10, the project examines problems around scarcity, housing insecurity, the cost of living crisis and how they coalesce into health impacts for residents and was developed over two years of research into living conditions in London and Dublin. This included an ongoing exchange between 55 households in the two capitals with tenants union CATU raising a callout for energy-efficient dehumidifiers. The resulting 700 litres of damp collected in Dublin alone is used as material for the new installation alongside thermal camera footage and participant interviews.
Speaking to Dazed Magazine, Avril said, “I was thinking about a project that used damp and protest, and ideas about a crisis of nature in the home.”
“I was interested in doing something that would use damp and mould as a material itself. Mould has its own agency, as does damp, and it doesn’t care about human existence.”
“[The subject of damp] feels very present at the moment, especially after the death of that baby boy Awaab Ishak, but there are also more housing actions happening, led by people like Kwajo Tweneboa.”
Got Damp was commissioned by Project Arts Centre, as part of its three-year public research project on housing, and TACO! London as part of its work with communities across South East London.
Avril’s enquiry sets out to frame damp as an entity with agency and the sculptural potential to represent the socio-economic conditions and structures that created it. The title Got Damp refers to an historic incident in Thamesmead. In 1971 residents collectively organised to highlight the issue of damp and water seepage in their recently built modern prefab homes. A visiting MP with delegates from the GLC was greeted by posters in the windows of residents simply stating ‘I’ve got damp’. The impact of such a large volume of protest posters displayed in windows captured the scale of the problem and quickly led to remedial work being carried out by the GLC. -TACO!
Tickets are free, with the launch taking place on Thursday 20 April 17.30-19.00. The installation runs from 21 April – 10 June, The Projects Arts centre is open 11.00-17.00 Monday-Friday.
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