Published by Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at University of Greenwich, London

landscape portfolio 2014/01

Over the coming month we will publish summaries of MA student projects. First, is Blanche Crossley’s project that explores the escape of prisoner George Blake.

George Blake’s Escape

Blanche’s project is based around Wormwood Scrubs, in West London. This is an area dominated by a prison, a vast scrub-land and a thick myriad of train lines that centre around Old Oak Common train depot and Willesden Junction. Whilst assessing the area she became aware of George Blake’s escape from HMP Wormwood Scrubs. After further investigation she became aware that the responsibility of this entire escape fell on the shoulders of a short-term friend released from the same prison, Sean Bourke. Blanche developed an interest in how one could plan someone else’s prison escape, (especially after the trust of such an idea was delegated to someone of such short acquaintance) and the emotional, physical effects this would have. Her project is born from mapping points of significant interest related to a true life narrative, and then designing these points to create situations of human experience that evoke specific emotion, and an altered reality.



Blanche Crossley accomplished her BA Hons Fine Art (sculpture) degree at Bath School of Art and Design in 2012 where she specialized in contemporary sculpture; thereafter she embarked on a Masters of Landscape Architecture at the University of Greenwich (due to be completed September 2014). During her Fine Art degree she developed a personal understanding of techniques and materials used within temporary architecture especially the material and physical processes of this. During her time studying fine art she increased her understanding of character and atmosphere. By making use of everyday construction materials she creates vibrant spaces, which uses temporary structures to represent human-like personalities. Since completing her BA Honours degree she has been part of exhibitions in Bath, Bristol and London. Throughout studying for her Masters Blanche has developed an interest in creating design from narrative. She has a keen interest in historical narrative and how this connects with the present landscape, she uses this to develop designs that highlight the elusive, uncommon and often overlooked historical interest of local areas. With a keen interest in the whimsical and novel, she employs these ideas using a light touch on the landscape that focuses on character and materiality that recreates physical emotion brought on through the distortion of space. She also reflects on positive and negative spaces, incorporating feelings of intimidation as well as areas of safety and refuge, allowing for a spectrum of spaces focused around altered reality.


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