Tom Phillips - 20 Slideshows

20 Slideshows

15. Obart. c. 4.00 pm.

  • 1973

  • 1974

  • 1975

  • 1976

  • 1977

  • 1978

  • 1979

  • 1980

  • 1981

  • 1982

  • 1983

  • 1984

  • 1985

  • 1986

  • 1987

  • 1988

  • 1989

  • 1990

  • 1991

  • 1992

  • 1993

  • 1994

  • 1995

  • 1996

  • 1997

  • 1998

  • 1999

  • 2000

  • 2001

  • 2002

  • 2003

  • 2004

  • 2005

  • 2006

  • 2007

  • 2008

  • 2009

  • 2010

  • 2011

  • 2012

  • 2013

  • 2014

  • 2015

  • 2016

  • 2017

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The proliferation of prefixes to ART in the sixties and seventies made OBART (Objective Art, Objectionable Art, Obese, Obtuse, Obvious Art?) an irresistible choice when I came across it in Wingfield Street. It became the sub-title of 20 Sites n Years though has now fallen into disuse, except as the name of this particular site where the word disappeared after the first two years. My association with Wingfield College reinforced my choice.

The houses on the right of the arch in this symmetrical street were dilapidated but someone told me in 1973 that they were 'going to be done up by the council'. They were demolished in 1975 and for the next five years the empty section displayed a succession of notices saying what firms had replaced the cryptically named Obart in the courtyard behind.

In 1981 building was underway on what looked like and proved to be one of the dullest and meanest buildings in Christendom, which we saw being made of thin bricks with an infill of black plastic bags. By 1988 the side wall is bowing perceptibly.

So depressing to the person in the surviving original house in the photograph was this development that they sold up their property which ended a series of optimistic religious messages (along the lines of 'Jesus Saves') which appeared in their window.

One sad fence replaces another round the small front plot of the new dwelling in which a rosebush slowly grows as if to assert old values.

In 1975 this site gives the first inkling of the long drawn out dustman's strike in the heap of black plastic bags piled up in front of the doomed house.

New owners take over the surviving house and install a neo-Georgian door in 1976. In 1989 an elegant and nicely functionless display of traffic-cones and a plank reminds one of the original artistic title of the site.