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Project Space

Ghost Estates #

ProjectX is pleased to introduce our next work-in-progress project

We will be sharing two posts of the unfinished project Ghost Estates by David Timlin @davidtimlinphoto. As always, the discussion is open to everyone. Please share thoughts, ideas and feedback in the comments.

‘Ghost Estates’ is an unfinished project; my intention was to contextualise and archive these unfinished homes – and in some cases, entire housing developments that had been abandoned mid build due to the 2008 recession (UK).In 2008 the UK housing market crashed leaving many developers little choice but to down tools. The Housing Executive released a report in August 2011 estimating that there were up to 5000 unfinished homes in Northern Ireland.

"These images comment on the ‘Boom’ years, yes, but they also represent the aftermath, those people that were locked into mortgages for houses they would never see."

In 2012 some of these developments still lay vacant, they had succumbed to the elements, vandalism and the apparent theft of materials. The photographs were taken in Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland over a 2-year period between 2012-2014.

I have always had an interest in our surroundings, how we interact with our environment both built and natural. These photographs, to me at least, portrayed the relationship between essential architecture, greed culture that contributed to the economic collapse and the dashed hopes of those trapped in an equity blackhole. There is a certain poignancy to these images – they comment on the ‘Boom’ years, yes, but they also represent the aftermath, those people that were locked into mortgages for houses they would never see.

"So, the question I am asking myself is what direction can I take this project that will present a fresh insight on these events, an insight that is relevant in 2021?"

I had always intended to continue this work, but I got caught in other things and forgot about it until recently when looking through old projects. I have since re-examined the project again and thought of revisiting the sites, however, I honestly do not know if it would work. The two locations I had previously photographed have been finished or torn down and rebuilt. Is it worth photographing them finally completed nearly a decade on? Is it worth resurrecting this project? Maybe not resurrecting it but using it as a springboard to respond to the works, to create something new.

The narrative that drove this project is now old news, and it is a narrative that many artists have responded to. So, the question I am asking myself is what direction can I take this project that will present a fresh insight on these events, an insight that is relevant in 2021?