Programme — Event

Unreal Estates: Artist Talk 2

Installation view at Unreal Estates. Image concept: Modern Parallax


Homefinders Estate Agents

146 Kingsland High St, London E8 2NS, UK


Sunday 7 October, 2pm–3pm

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

Talk 2

Painters Héloïse Delègue (Goldsmiths MFA) and Elysia Byrd (Wimbledon) speak to Marco Cali (Contemporary British Painting) about their work for Unreal Estates.

Héloïse Delègue is a recent graduate of the MFA programme at Goldsmiths. For Unreal Estates she has worked in close collaboration with Berlin-based poet Martin Jackson. Describing their work process together Jackson states: “The two of us, painter and writer, we visited properties. Two of them. Flats for sale. Half a million each. The bright-painted walls and oversized mirrors made to stretch the length and breadth of each of them. There we were inside, an impostor couple, ventriloquist capitalists, nothing in our wallets.” Delègue’s and Jackson’s contributions focusses on tropes contained in the others’ work, in the words of Delègue, “a constant back and forth movement between words and visuals, a play between slippages of language.”

Elysia Byrd is a painting graduate from Wimbledon College of Art. She has been selected for the Woon Prize and FBA Futures. Her vibrant and often fantastical work often involves responding to self-written stories; for this exhibition she has reacted to an existing story. This story was written by Portals of London, a blog that documents incidences of inter-dimensional rifts in London; the writing mixes psychogeography, sci-fi, horror and ghost story, wrapped up in a local history format. Byrd will speak about how working from an existing text has “allowed clear, essential way of working than normal which has freed up the act of painting.”

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.


Héloïse Delègue, Elysia Byrd, Marco Cali


Amanda Lwin

Venue/event info


Under 16s

Homefinders Estate Agents

146 Kingsland High St, London E8 2NS, UK