Dwellan: to go astray, wander
Jill McLennan watches Jingletown, her neighborhood of 14 years, transform into a community full of development. She records history as the presence of her chosen refuge vanishes before her eyes. The uncertain future bears over the residents in the form of looming condos and growing population. Cranes and birds that once frequented the estuary and wetlands have turned into construction cranes filling the neighborhood with urban growth for a brighter future. The original community members-generations of families, implanted activists and artists-reside within their dwellings, waiting and wondering.
Throughout the city people are living in new and diverse abodes. Tents are popping up as fast as condos, maybe faster. Heaps of garbage follow the tent cities as our neighborhoods are built up and taken apart. Doorways become bedrooms as bridges become roofs to block out the rain. Fences and discarded doors build walls and windows to a new view of human life on this planet.McLennan is a participant in this urban displacement and renewal. She is a tenant, a landlord, a teacher and a learner, an observer and an activist. She is currently completing her first public art project with Madison Park Development Corp. in Jingletown on Derby Street. She designed 12 panels depicting birds flying over the Oakland skyline, framing the entryway with a 40′ visual screening above the main doors.