Last week I started my residency at Airspace Gallery exploring certain brownfield sites of Stoke on Trent, where much of the ceramics industry has closed leaving empty sites. This is part of an ongoing project at Airspace’s Brownfield Research Centre in order to open up new conversations regarding brownfields across the UK.
The impact of brownfield sites hold negative and positive responses; from the absurdity of vacant space, to the unveiling on closer inspection that these spaces are teaming with valued life.
Perhaps we need to change the current perspective, maybe we are blind to brownfield sites since these fenced off areas are such a consistent sight in our towns and cities.
What has come from my week was that although I personally find these sites a place of wonder and seclusion to paint in and explore, there are others who seemingly do not even question that there is potential without the developers, for themselves or others. When we look closely it is however clear that they provide sanctuary for man and creature, with a thriving ecosystem and possibly simply serve as a breathing space.