Here & When, Embassy Court People 1936-1990

Here & When, Embassy Court People 1936-1990

Sue Milnthorpe & Paul Roberts have installed a display in Embassy Court Foyer, which you can visit as part of the Artists Open Houses & the Embassy Court Art Trail during May 2010.

The wall display shows the names of many of the people who have lived in Embassy Court. The information was collected from the electoral registers and local directories available at the Brighton and Hove Local History Centre and presented in the form of a single table showing who lived in which flats for every year between 1936 and 1990.

It is the product of a collaboration between an artist and a historian and belongs to both of these fields. It represents a form of knowledge that is forever being created and lost. One that is always slipping away into the past and can never be fully recovered. The many gaps and errors – faithfully copied from the sources – seem to add to its poignancy.

There is no historical narrative, the data is presented so that it speaks directly. And the incompleteness and uncertainty of it is part of the work. Our minds are conditioned to find patterns and stories in the slightest of information and we can see them here. Children appear, sometimes with their birthdays recorded. Long stable relationships can be seen, ending perhaps in tragedy and loneliness. And there are many mysteries. What we see in this data depends on who we are.

Curiosity was a big part of our response. Who were these people? What did they do, what are they doing now? Did famous celebrities like Rex Harrison, Diana Dors, Graham Greene and Max Miller really live here? Our research extended to biographies, memoirs, newspaper archives and other sources. Many of the lives we found have been set out in the booklet that accompanies this show. This work is unfinished and will be ongoing for the foreseeable future. If you would like to contribute to this research or have any stories, photos or other information about Embassy Court you’d like to share please contact us.

More information will appear shortly on this website.

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