The Promise

My way of escaping can be to visit the city of Bristol. I always make a visit to the Arnolfini to see what’s new for my own inspiration and what questions it will create. “The Promise”, is an exhibition based on the dialogue of the city with it’s residents. The life beyond visuality, the hidden capsule of life in tower flats. The lives and stories so treasured by the residents that outsiders are not aware of. All the outsiders are seeing is the tall tower of panes of glass, bricks and concrete. Not the living beings inside these buildings taking life day by day. What do we think people see us as when we sit in our house all day. Feeling we’re busy doing things but realising at the end of the day you haven’t been outside. That sinking feeling, due to social means which makes us feel we need to be out doing everything we possibly can everyday.




The exhibition presented the one tower of flats to then lead to the individual lives of the residents on each level, emphasising the differences in people and lives that were among the one tower. The photo below is one example of this. I feel we forget the complexities of human kind. We forget to look into other peoples lives and realise they are different to our own. We forget whilst were looking at buildings that their is life behind these man made materials, there is a completely different person within. The individuality and distinctive life and thoughts we lead, every other person around us are as well. I’m not saying that we’re all the same and we shouldn’t prize our independence. But to think how fascinating it is that we are all just important as each other.



The exhibition was set in the 80’s when technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today. All the connections to how we spend our days inside has got to lead to technology at some point. Take us back 40-ish years before mobiles were made we would be out speaking to people organising events etc. Now we can connect to anyone around the whole world without needing to leave the house. Instead of meeting people and catching up, creating better relationships we chose to tap our fingers on our devices to save our selves from valid experiences.

Carrying on from the exhibition, a home is a dwelling place that the owners take as a prized possession, a stable and secure shelter. Humans original home from their childhood is an incubator of memories that only that individual and close family and friends can connect to.

Outsiders can see this one building, it may have a pretty garden, possibly over grown, a garage with loads of cars, or no cars, a colourful house or a grey dingy house. That doesn’t go to say the outsiders have any right to judge who lives inside there. Outsiders have no way of being able to peek into that privacy, these capsules of life within everyones home. Only the individuals living in the space can understand the life within it.

So many houses exactly alike are ignored and forgotten. The visual can be understood and the hidden can only be left to imagination. For those that we do not understand we can only question.
Following on from the idea of so many people being hidden away within their own worlds, I found this small paragraph from an e-mail that National Geographic sent me;
George Orwell once wrote that the loss of a person equals the loss of an entire perspective: “One mind less, one world less.”
Gemma Green-Hope “Everyone has such interesting lives and stories, and it seems sad that all that history often disappears with them. It’s impossible to sum up someone’s whole life in two minutes, but I wanted to capture a little piece of her marvellous character and share it with others so she wouldn’t be forgotten.”

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