Inês Alves / Beyond this Place of Wrath
In Beyond this Place of Wrath, we are presented with a topography of the homes of female rough sleepers in London. The project focuses solely on female homelessness and the relationship between women and the public place. What we see is the physical space in contrast with the public space, our space, which we all inhabit in a way or another. The public becomes private instantly, when we see the traces, in the form of blankets and cardboard.
This body of work examines the way we behave publicly and socially. It is a study of our nature as human beings and simultaneously a criticism of our own apathy and powerlessness. We are confronted with a reality that we are aware of, that we see every day, but that we tend to let slip through our minds. It also questions the fragile relationship between women and the public space, as a patriarchal system.
In this project, the whole photographic process was simplified in order to slow down and have the appropriate time to portray homelessness. Using only a Kodak Brownie box camera and materials that are commonly used by rough sleepers, such as cardboard and newspaper, the street is brought into the gallery space, as a thoughtful appropriation and by refusing to use traditional photographic printing materials, the photographer hopes to create a discussion that goes beyond the documentary project.
The images depicted are only a few of the many recollections of these wall-less rooms. To expose this deeply complicated issue, the use of sleeping bags, duvet covers, blankets and cardboard help to show how rooted the problem is in our society.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
– William Ernest Henley, Invictus
Inês Alves (Portugal, b. 1989) is a London based photographer and has recently completed an MA in Photography at London College of Communication.
Inês’ photographic practice explores the relationship between people and the space we inhabit. Her work examines the way we behave publicly and socially. It challenges the preconceptions usually expected of us as a community. The street is frequently at the centre of her practice, as a theme and as a location.