• Past Projects

The Waiting Rooms

"Once upon a time there was a house, a family house like any other in a quiet street in Montpelier, Bristol. Petro and Augusta Risnyk, newly weds and post-war immigrants from Poland and Italy, made this house their home in 1955.

They lived there together for almost half a Century.

In 2001 Petro died and Augusta continued to live in the house alone until she died in 2005.

And the house stood alone, empty of its owners with no family to claim it, yet full of the remnants of fifty years of life.

Clothes, letters, photographs…

In 2006 four people noticed this forgotten house and made it their new home. In doing so they became unwitting heirs to the heritage of the house, keepers of Petro and Augusta’s memory.

They have lived in the house for almost three years now, adding their own fingerprints alongside the Risnyk’s, hanging two sets of family photographs on the walls.

This autumn they received a letter from an Heir Hunter; a company which searches through lists of ‘unclaimed estates’ finding distant heirs and anonymously arranging a sale for profit. They were asked to leave.

With the prospect of their eviction and the history of this house being washed away, I have worked in collaboration with Charlotte to document how the lives of the residents of this house, old and new, have intertwined.

This series of photographs merges past and present, framed in original wallpaper and printed by hand using a process which predates photographic film and uses sunlight to expose the image. These are the first works of an ongoing project, as the residents wait for court proceedings. The intention is to expose the works directly onto the walls of the house using available natural light. They will be left as a testament for the Heir Hunters to find."

…they were evicted in the presence of national media within three months of the exhibition, on a snowy day in early 2009.