Olivia Keith – The Expanded City

Olivia Keith has a deep interest in naming, and the ways in which titles that may lose their cultural significance can ‘make it through’, and perhaps be reused and welcomed into circulation once again. In order to perform research into how this progression might function in the particular environment of the Preston City Deal scheme, Keith has developed a method of gleaning information voluntarily from passers-by. This is accomplished through the means of large-scale outdoor drawing, the results of which simultaneously form the basis of her work. Keith has described how the sites that she chooses often feature, or are close to bridges, and that these are then paired with an obsolete map showing demolished houses and felled trees, which is reproduced at an oversized scale. Keith’s process requires a significant investment of time, with some elements carefully planned, but others left to fate, like the changeable Lancashire weather and the unknown reactions of other people. The artist presented her research as part of The Expanded City symposium.