Matthew Darbyshire - Woolworth Tower

Digitally printed banner, 2011. Digital rendering by Chris Hildrey. Courtesy the Artist and Zabludowicz Collection.

Woolworth Tower

Digitally printed banner, 2011

Digital rendering by Chris Hildrey. Courtesy the Artist and Zabludowicz Collection.

Matthew Darbyshire’s Woolworth Tower banner stretches out on a blind wall of the rambling and derelict servants’ quarters, a marginal place at the confines of the park. Here this ‘modern ruin’ creates a playful but also grating juxtaposition between the elaborate architecture of Witley Court and the harshness of the high street.


This unexpected encounter hints at the presence and possible infringement of another world, diametrically opposed to the rarefied atmosphere of the Court. Woolworth Tower suggests the parallel existence of two failed systems, united by their demise. Both worlds have broken down and have done so in a spectacular manner. Like the solid mansion built by the Dudleys’ impressive fortune, the once ubiquitous high street chain seemed invulnerable until the shock of its collapse in 2008.

Matthew Darbyshire

Matthew Darbyshire’s work critically explores the nature of consumerism and desire; he makes reference to things that most of us instantly recognise to comment on the fluctuating current economic and social climate.

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