The Infinitesimal Atom

Created for the Pool Arts exhibition Ardwick Built, this installation resembles an altar and looks at various aspects of the history of homelessness in the Ardwick area of Manchester and takes a critical look at the subject of charity from the pint of view of 19th century radical, Oscar Wilde.


In the piece a monumental photograph of a crumpled sleeping bag, someones bed for the night abandoned on the pavement at Downing Street, site of the now completely demolished Direct Access Hostel. Weeds gathered around the site are displayed in a glass vase and an article from 1980 about a demonstration in Albert Square to save the Ardwick Night Shelter is framed; protestors slung a rope across the town hall square, which they leaned over as would have been the case for down and outs in the 19th century. People would have paid a penny to rest in this manner when they had no shelter. Nothing much, they claimed had changed and homelessness was a huge problem in 1980. Yet even today little has still changed. Wilde questioned the purpose of charity and demanded a more fundamental change was needed.