'SMOKE AND MIRRORS' - POLAROIDS

I am using Polaroid cameras to produce images. The pictures carry the usual hallmarks of indistinctness, colour shift and texture, and seem to hold time within their surface in a very particular way. While these pictures can be produced in a few short minutes, like answers unforthcoming; they seem to conceal at least as much as they reveal.

Polaroid cameras were extensively used by the Police at crime scenes; to record details, bodies and the locations of objects

As time passes and the media attention waxes and wanes I am attempting to use these photographs as questions or reminders, to mark time. The images are in response to the collective shock of the community who are frustrated and angry that such a preventable tragedy could happen. Now Grenfell Tower stands as a brutal symbol: highlighting the social divisions in one of the richest council boroughs in one of the richest countries in the world.

‘Steve Mepsted’s ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ series draws attention to a disaster which demands to be remembered, a massive fire that engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower public housing estate in 2017, killing 71 of its inhabitants. As a local resident constantly reminded of these events by the tower’s looming presence, Mepsted’s work feels both like an attempt to process a disaster symptomatic of London’s inequalities, and directly aggravated by them, while calling on others to remember what happened.’

Lewis Bush – in ‘Capital Culture’, Essay for Unseen Magazine issue no. 6.