Welcome to The Neighbourhood Project
On the 16th December 1881 the genteel Charles Street was disturbed by the distressed cluckings of a chicken and an extremely irate chicken owner. The description of the incident, recorded in the Argus, states that a Mr Warne of Charles Street, who claims to keep chickens at his address was missing “one of the chickens, and a few days later saw it in (the) defendant’s (a Mr Hammond) yard.” The plaintiff goes on to state that he went to ask the defendant for the chicken back but he was ‘abused’ and told “he would have to fight for it.” Mr Warne also claims that before he left Mr Hammond’s premises, Mr Hammond “took the fowl up and killed it."
Drawing on real historical documents and verbatim dialogue from the streets of Brighton and Hove, Neighbourhood satisfies your curiosity to peer into windows, overhear conversations, and sneak open love letters. It aims to test the boundary between literature, historical document, art, and advertisement.
The stories are fleeting. A milliner tries to cope with retirement. A woman finds the Adam and Eve of bees in her garden. A photographer changes his name. A boy witnesses a terrible accident. But in their brevity, the stories show us both the truth and neglect of these unknown characters.
The form of the project will be a collection of ten or more original posters with the text of each story scrolling across and prints illuminating details of the stories under and around the text. The prints will also be embellished with QR codes that lead the viewer to a network of digital additions and compliments to the stories, including the actual historical documents upon which they’re based, audio files with dramatic readings so you can listen as you stroll through the streets in question, alternative illustrations, and more. The posters will then be hung in areas corresponding to the histories so that as you catch a glimpse of one - maybe a phrase lingers - you can feel like you’re reaching into the lives of people just like you who once walked the same pavements.
P.S. The verdict came down in favour of the defendant Mr Hammond as the judge “was not satisfied as to the identity” of the chicken.