Last weekend saw the public prosession of new work by Isabel Lima: Gresham trojan horse from Middlesbrough Institute for Modern Art to a site on Union Street on the Gresham estate which we helped design with Isabel, Tilt Workshop and Engineers at Structural and Civil Engineers.
The Gresham Estate is a large urban site that was largely demolished as part of of the now abandoned Housing Market Renewal Initiative (HMRI) or Pathfinders scheme between 2002 – 2011. Hundreds of homes were demolished as part of the project on Tessside (and across the North and Midlands). Following the sub-prime crash of 2007-2008 and subsequent recession, these sites where then left vacant and empty.
Gresham’s Wooden Horse is a project that brings together disparate communities living in Gresham, central Middlesbrough. The project is inspired by the ancient Greek myth of the Trojan Horse, built by Greek soldiers as a means of infiltrating and taking control of the city of Troy. Lima uses this symbolism to stimulate collective action among Gresham’s population.
Gresham’s Wooden Horse is a vehicle for residents of Gresham, old and new, to establish a sense of ownership of their neighbourhood, enabling a collective process of reimagining the area’s identity. Through a series of summer workshops led by Isabel Lima at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) technical facilities, a group of local people – Gresham residents from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds have been building the wooden horse.
The horse was walked by the residents from MIMA to Gresham where it will remain for several weeks. It will be used to host discussions with the artist Isabel Lima around the future of the area before being dismantled and recycled by residents.