‘Defined Change’, Shiraz Bayjoo
HS Projects commissioned ‘Defined Change’, a collaborative project between Shiraz Bayjoo and CRISIS. Six ex-homeless individuals were selected because of their success in reclaiming their lives, and because they presented a variety of habitats and spaces. The project aimed to explore their everyday living situations, how they act as metaphors for the past and suggest our anxieties for the future.
Working in collaboration with lead artist Shiraz Bayjoo, the participants explored key situations within their domestic lives, leading to a visual language that is expressive of both individual and collective experiences.
In analysing past traumas, the participants entered into a dialogue with Shiraz Bayjoo, discussing how present day living habits have come about, from the decorative and functional objects of the home to the interior domestic routines, such as making breakfast. This presented a voyeur like view of the habits one develops over time.
The project investigated hoarders who are compelled to catalogue every aspect of their existence, past and present. This contrasts with the entrenched rough sleepers who after a lifetime on the streets, and having finally come to terms with domestic living, reside in pristine, empty apartments, with modest acquisitions and taste.
Through the course of the discussions, the participants identified how these spaces and objects also came to signify the choices and changes they made to try to improve their situation. This was also explored in the activities and responsibilities they had chosen to take on in the outside world.
‘Defined Change’ was funded by the Insight Community Arts Programme (2002 – 2015).
The project ran from July to December 2009.