Tidy Street, 2006
Tidy Street, in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine, was turned into a large scale public gallery for the duration of the Brighton Photo Fringe October, 2006 in a project with residents.
I collaborated with the residents of the street using snapshots from their personal photo albums to be exhibited in their house windows, each image transformed into a window-sized light box and illuminated from 6 pm to 10 pm for the two weeks of the festival.
Tidy Street has had a long and varied history, reflecting the changes that Brighton city as a whole has experienced. In the 1850’s for example the street was a mix of homes and businesses, including a greengrocer, dressmakers, beer retailers, plumbers and painters and coal merchants. Now the street is home to young and old alike, those that have lived on the street for most of their lives, to those that are new to Brighton, those with young families, students and commuters, has two contemporary lifestyle and fashion boutiques and the Americana café-diner, Rock Ola.
"The street has changed quite a lot since 2006 and I should think the majority of your houses and residents are still here. Then I think there were just the two babies. Now there are 16 kids that vary from 2 to 12. We had a “take your lunch out” a few Sundays ago that culminated in two very large speakers being placed on the street and something of a rave kicking off. Some of the Kensington Place residents called the police and a very amused van-load of riot police pulled up to find Ruth and Heather amongst others enjoying a good knees up. In a couple of weekends time we have our annual street camping trip which is a very good laugh. I think in many ways your exhibition was the thing that first galvanised the street together into the community it is now." - Hugo Butterworth, number 19
The project was covered in local newspapers, television and radio and had a long term positive effect on the community of the street.