In Peckham, as with many neighbourhoods in London, there's internal discord over the forces of gentrification. But Nicholas Cobb's amazing model instead asks: 'What if everything just went completely to hell?'
He's made a dystopian recreation of Peckham's multi-storey car park (currently home to Bold Tendencies) 99 years in the future.
And in his amazing 8ft x 4ft model, the years have not been kind to the building. Having been ravaged by a nameless disaster, it now lies in utter ruin.
Cobb was inspired to create the piece during a visit to the car park last September.
‘I found myself gazing at the sunset over the London skyline, and the thought struck me that my next project should be a ruin – a post-apocalyptic diorama – so why not choose the very building I’m standing on?’
‘After all,’ Cobb explains, ‘the Peckhamplex below was showing Hollywood blockbusters of apocalyptic events at that very moment, and the council have plans to demolish the car park itself in four years.’
Cobb also considers whether the idea came from being surrounded by young people, and, in his words, feeling his age.
‘I thought this would be a suitable “vanitas” subject: enjoy it now – but be aware that everything passes.’
‘And ruins have for several centuries fascinated the western mind - our being drawn to that which we most fear.’
Cobb photographed the actual car park inside and out and drew up some basic plans to a 1/60 scale.
He scavenged some of the model-making materials, like insulation board and polystyrene foam, from skips.
Foam board is used for all the car park floors, while trees and plants come from traditional modelling shops.
The complete diorama took several months to construct, with the interior details a particularly time-consuming element.
Even though London has clearly met with a devastating catastrophe, by 2114 the ruins are dotted with cherry blossom trees, a detail Cobb attributes to his ‘optimistic character’.
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