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    Entries in Spitafields (1)

    Church Property

    Last week the unlikeness project took me to Christ Church, Spitafields, East London. Well at least just in front of it. I set up my usual bycicle & trailor to the left of the entrance, while to the right stood a tall organic coffee stall outfit. Not a bad place to run an art project, or so I thought.

    It took about 15 minutes, right in the middle of my first two participants, until a angry church representative appeared. She said I was "illegal" and that the pavement in front of the church was church property. When I asked how I could possibly be "illegal", she stormed back in and I carried on with my work. Another two portaits later a second church representative appeared, this time with plenty of patience and politely enquired how long I would be with my current sitter. "Five-ten minutes" I replied

    Once Mahira had her picture we talked again. I started the conversation:


    Hello Sir, how are you today? Would you like your picture given?

    I'm fine, what are you doing here?

    I'm taking pictures of people and if they like them they keep them. If they don't, I keep them.

    Hm. Would it be possible to move on?

    Why, am I in your way?

    You haven't got permission to be here. I would like to ask you to move on please.

    There's plenty of space here. Could you give me a permission?

    I can't give you permission.

    Do you know anyone who can give me permission?

    No I don't. Well maybe you can call the church helpline on the notice board here.

    And they can give me permission?

    I don't know if they can give anyone permission. I would like to ask you to move on please.

    ( I walk to the left and say:) How about here? Is here good?

    Ummm. Not there. Maybe over there. (He points to a spot 5 yards further towards the street, still on the same pavement)



    As this spectacle unfolds Anne is taking pictures (all images in this post are ©Anne Byrne). We pick up the project, walk 5 yards and continue. In the move my pictures blow off and the church representative rescues them.


    All the while the organic coffee shop pulls shots as usual. They probably paid for a permit. On Church Property. Apparently.