Hoxtopia was Moss' final project in 2020 with the PEER ambassadors at PEER Gallery, a group of local 17-23 year olds from the Hoxton area, East London.
Across London, it is a regular sight to come across private developments which are completely unaffordable for the communities surrounding them. In East London, which has historically been diverse, working class, and with prevalent social housing, the effect as communities are displaced is especially violent.
On the hoarding of these construction sites, there are often Photoshop proposal images showing what the future development will look like. Overwhelmingly, the people that feature in these images are middle class, white, young professionals.
Moss asked the group at PEER to imagine alternative Photoshop proposals for the future of Hoxton Street. To display the work, Moss and the group flooded the Google Maps listings of 4 private developments within walking distance of PEER with the images. This meant that whenever potential buyers googled "HKR Hoxton," "The Makers Shoreditch," "DASH London," or "Shoreditch Exchange" they would see these images instead of corporate marketing suite photos.
With thanks to Alice White, Curator for Local Audiences, PEER
"I chose to use dinosaurs in my image as they evoke the unrecognisable, and also the terrifying, future of the gentrification of Hoxton, as well as many other places in London." Amida Deen
"My idea behind the piece was to showcase what I hope will be the future for Hoxton but also what hoxton has been to me for the past couple of years. As gentrifications slowly creeps in and new modern builds take over, I fear that the rich sense of community that Hoxton is will slowly disappear and those that have made Hoxton what it is will no long reside there. So, I wanted a piece that would showcase what I hope is never taken away from this area and that is the joy and community and it’s history." Devinya Thomas
"Our image is about how we all still live in a matrix and are being controlled by the government, which currently has Boris Johnson in power. The numeric symbols in the background and the giant frog with the Boris wig is meant to symbolise this." Gideon Owusu and Jay Russell
"My proposal was based on the Hoxton I remember as a child. A big open space full of intrigue. I played around with perspective and colour to emulate the feeling of open space and freedom. Hoxton I remember is very reminiscent of The Verve's 1997 video 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' (shot in Hoxton Street). The image of The Verve's lead singer Richard Ashcroft was a way of paying homage to the video and the Hoxton of the time. I made the addition of more buildings dedicated to the arts, other community spaces and affordable homes as something I would personally like to see in a future Hoxton." Ellise Johnson
"The piece I made was a way of inspiring young people to follow their dreams. I expressed this with the red carpet I photoshopped onto the street of Hoxton. I wanted to emphasise how, no matter what your circumstances, you should always aim high with your goals. The banners were a way to spread love and for there to be change and equality among our society." Aantu Waday
"My work is about surveillance and the feeling of being watched." Carmela Docherty
East London development inspiration images
Hoxtopia images uploaded to Google Maps to private developments "HKR Hoxton," "The Makers Shoreditch," "DASH London," & "Shoreditch Exchange."