If This Were to Be Lost 2016, painted birch plywood mounted on scaffold, 1.9 x 19 m.

If This Were to Be Lost (2016-17) is a temporary, large-scale, sculptural installation situated at The Green Backyard, a ‘community growing project’ in Peterborough that for years was threatened with a proposed development by its owner, the City Council. The phrase is adapted from an oral recording by a contributor to the audio archive – Inside The Green Backyard (Opportunity Area) (201516), a collection of over 100 cyanotypes and more than 100 oral recordings – and its 19-metre length was visible to passengers travelling on the adjacent East Coast main-line train from London to Edinburgh. If This Were to Be Lost raises many questions about what this community (and many others engaged in volunteer-run, urban green spaces) stand to lose if the land were to be lost to a proposed development. 

For further information see Jessie's authored book Re: development: Voices, Cyanotypes & Writings from The Green Backyard (2016), read about the book in Antipode and the project in the Guardian, or explore the collaborative networked exhibition.