"hi-vis” imagines how graffiti artists might have reached the particularly difficult places they painted in London, England, where I live. My intention is to show that each instance of graffiti is a demonstration that that place can be accessed—that if you read into the spatial dimensions of graffiti, urban space becomes much more open than we are told it is.
My collaborator climbed these spots wearing a hi-vis tracksuit while I held a spotlight on him. The images are composed of long exposure background shots edited together with these photos of the climb. The climbs were not, strictly speaking, legal; one constraint of the project was that there was little opportunity to test the exposures.
The inspiration for this project came from my own reading of graffiti: as I walked around London, I would see graffiti and try to imagine people scaling bridges, walls, and shop fronts to paint it. I wanted other people to see this too. My hope is that the viewer will begin to apply this mode of interpretation to other pieces of graffiti, and then to other parts of the city. Eventually, the viewer might even access the city differently.
The photos also function as how-to guides. Each photo was shot in a different council in London, and together they form a kind of map of the city and how to navigate it.