If Cathy came home to a flat on the Bel-Air estate in Chartres, I am sure she would be delighted. The block of social housing flats has been transformed through highly imaginative trompe l’oeil paint effects.
Cathy, of course, was the central character in Ken Loach’s 1966 made-for-TV drama Cathy Come Home, which told the tale of a couple whose lives unravel when the husband loses his job. It transformed British opinions towards homelessness and led to the setting up of charities such as Shelter.
Creative group CitéCréation are also transforming people’s views of social housing. Based in Ouillons, outside Nice, they undertake commissions all over the world. Since they were set up in 1978, the group has completed 600 vast murals.
You can see the original post-war housing block at the right-hand end of the image above. The rest is what it became after they had unleashed their talents on its exterior – covering a surface area of over 4,000m2 with paint.
As I go off to work in my job in housing today, I can only imagine what the social housing estates of Britain would be like if this group got their hands – and brushes – on them.