Programme — Event

Unreal Estates: Artist Talk 1

Installation view at Unreal Estates. Image concept: Modern Parallax


Homefinders Estate Agents

146 Kingsland High St, London E8 2NS, UK


Saturday 6 October, 4.15pm–5.15pm

Unreal Estates presents a series of artists talks for Art Licks Weekend 2018.

Talk 1

Artists Anna Jung Seo and Brian McKenzie speak to magical realist writer Karina Lickorish Quinn about their collaboration for Unreal Estates.

Karina Lickorish Quinn is a writer pursuing a Phd in creative writing, focusing on transnational experiences and the impact of space and place on identity formation. Oögenesis was shortlisted for The White Review short story prize and highly commended for the Manchester Fiction Prize.

Together with Brian McKenzie, Lickorish Quinn has created an eccentric menagerie of aliens, bees, snakes and fungal cultures who might just be living next door. McKenzie states: “I love to make complex images depicting peculiar things and situations. I used the estate agents’ online sales and rental spaces as egg like pods where the germ of my favourite themes could grow and mutate alongside commentary on some modern urban trends. Sealed away inside normal housing, obsessive behaviour, strange characters and general weirdness have flourished and hatched to secretly inhabit the district of Dalston and surrounds.”

Anna Jung Seo’s paintings contain an “element of story-telling inside a house that form the pivotal moments…rich, emotional landscapes that speak of life, time and death.” In her collaboration with Jung Seo, Lickorish Quinn presents two ‘double exposure’ poems which relate to the duality of our understandings of home. Lickorish Quinn states: “As shelter, it protects us from some of our most basic fears (from predators and would-be attackers) and yet it also houses countless threats (the ghost, the monster under the bed, the intruder). As artefact, we fashion it (with paints and wallpapers and embellishments) to express who we would like to be and how we would like to be seen. As home it becomes a receptacle for our memories, including our most private moments, whether cherished or repressed.”

About the Exhibition

Unreal Estates is an exhibition of newly commissioned work by 10 painters and writers who have been asked to respond collaboratively to the theme of domestic interiors. The results are presented on a Rightmove-style website,, and in an exhibition on Kingsland High Street.

The project critiques the homogenisation of interiors, a concept described by writers such as Kyle Chakya in his description of ‘Airspace’, for example. Gathered together, the works are a subtle commentary on the state of the property market and the trend of property as investment, rather than a place where lives are lived.

The new works reassert the subtleties, emotions and intrigues found in domestic settings with richer, deeper stories. A nuanced examination of issues affecting London and other cities, Unreal Estates reaffirms the basic human need of a house as shelter; a space of personal rather than of monetary value.

The value of property exists in collective fictions and political decisions as much as in reality. Rather than simplistically demonising the profiteers of the housing crisis, the exhibition targets the systemic nature of the commodification of property.

Envisaged as a format that will tour to other cities in the UK, with local artists and writers working on each new iteration, the project is being recorded on the Unreal Estates website.

Artists: Hannah Bays, Dawn Beckles, Elysia Byrd, Héloïse Delègue, Brian McKenzie, Anna Jung Seo
Writers: Martin Jackson, John Z. Komurki, Karina Lickorish Quinn, Portals of London

Note that disabled access refers to the talk. For full accessibility information see this page.


Anna Jung Seo, Brian McKenzie, Karina Lickorish Quinn


Amanda Lwin

Venue/event info


Under 16s

Homefinders Estate Agents

146 Kingsland High St, London E8 2NS, UK