Flat 23

Flat 23 installed at Site Gallery
Flat 23 installed at The Walker Art Gallery

Flat 23

Six channel sound installation for three monitors, 2 mins looped, 2002.

A former resident of a Liverpool block of flats, which was about to be demolished, was asked to list the objects that filled three rooms in her former flat. This list was set to music and spoken and sung by a female voice, layered and harmonised with itself, which forms the soundtrack to static video shots of the same, now empty, rooms. The description of the hand made furniture made by the resident’s husband, who died just as they left the flat, forms the lyrics for the lead vocal harmony in the piece. The lead vocal could be both a lament for a human relationship and for the failure of art to do justice to it. Thanks to Doreen Hughes and Marie Therese Escritt. Commissioned by Further Up in the Air.

Purchased in 2015 by The Arts Council Collection.


Jessica Greenall (Art in Liverpool website). 9/11/2016 review of the work.

Steve Lee (The Big Issue magazine). 21/3/2016 interview about the work.

Interview With Dr Helen Pheby (Aesthetica magazine). 15/3/2016 interview referencing the work.

John Schofield (Journal of the Arts in Society). 2007 essay referencing the work.

“By listing the objects – like a probate inventory – [Flat 23 is] able to evoke the way in which highly intimate and personal worlds can be constructed through things – even against the modernist architecture of a tower block.” Dan Hicks (Situations website). 15/2/2006 interview referencing the work.

“What begins to happen through the repetition of melody and lyric is the conjuring up of the home and the lives of Doreen and Bernie Hughes. This is Paul Rooney’s archaeology.” Claire Doherty (Firstsite Gallery book). 2006 essay referencing the work.

Colin Serjent (Nerve magazine). Summer 2004 interview referencing the work.

Ian McMillan, The Verb (BBC Radio 3). 13/12/2003 radio feature referencing the work.

Come Ca Art Prize North Winner Announced (Art Daily website). Oct. 2003 article referencing the work.

Art Prize Winner Announced (Manchester Evening News). 11/8/2003 article referencing the work.