2019 / Book of imagined sightings and UFO hoax photographs made with kind contribution from local young people living in ‘cultural deserts’ / Materials: tinfoil, empty film reels, disposable cameras, duct tape, a bloody good throw


In December, Tenaya read that The Arts Council sees her home Gloucester as a 'culture cold spot' - the only English city on a list of towns. The same day she learnt that the National UFO Reporting Centre has recently documented an all-time low in sightings. But imagine if UFOs did come visit, imagine if they chose Gloucester? Or Blackpool, or Wigan, or Doncaster, or any of the places to make that list. She reached out to local young people living in so-called cultural deserts to fake UFO sightings across these places, reviving the dying and overlooked art of the1970s UFO hoax. With just tinfoil, empty film reels and disposable cameras, they created signals in the sky; proving if not that there's life out there, that there's life right here on Earth - here in the desert towns.

This book of fictional UFO sighting accounts is illustrated by the very hoaxes they made. From goths dyeing their hair in the Gloucester Kings Square toilets to gals dreaming over scratch cards at the old football stadium in Doncaster, the imagined encounters tell a true and connected story of undervalued human culture in written-off places.

Read the preface to UFOs over DESERT TOWNS here