our house : your house
A dwelling inhabited by six disparate people who came together to create, dream, inspire, learn and think. Our tutors entered the space to guide us and drew out our innermost imaginings.
Now gathered here in one place to show a visual representation of our work at the end of our trip.
We’ve come home, the doors are open, look inside…
“This is the Lady’s Apartment, essentially, being the modern form of the Lady’s Withdrawing-room, otherwise the Parlour, or perfected Chamber of medieval plan. After dinner the ladies withdraw to it…” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drawing_room
This room is my space, a place to be alone and think. A room for ideas, free thinking and visualising. It’s a quiet, calm retreat, heart beat slows and anxious thoughts are gone. My withdrawing space to be with myself and shut out the turbulent world, before I emerge again blinking in the sunshine.
Empires have risen and fallen in the time it takes me to cook a meal. As much as I would like to be a good cook, I’m not. It doesn’t help to be surrounded by good cooks.
I like to think of the kitchen as a communal room, my swiss army knife of useful functions. We cook in our kitchens but we also eat drink and connect in our kitchens.
It can be a work area, for arts and crafts, no longer my my Achilles Heel but an area of wipe down surfaces to liberate my artistic impulses, where cooking has become a small hidden away tool.
The kitchen can be the unlikely centre of the home, our souls are fed with good company and good conversation, and our bellies with good food. A free table and chair opens up a world of possibilities. The kitchen is my studio practice space but also where I can just sit and chat, with a nice cup of tea, and only very occasionally cook. It is the centre of my home for the things I want to do and my nemesis, cooking.
A terrace is a flat area of stone or grass outside a house, where people sit and sometimes eat.
Early 16th Century (denoting an open gallery, later a platform or balcony in a theatre): from Old French, literally ‘rubble, platform’, based on Latin terra ‘earth’.
The terrace has been a place where I can make art. Having access to outside space has enabled me to be more experimental with my use of materials. From the terrace I have become more observant, paying closer attention to the skies above and ambient noise. My work attempts to address being at the intersection between earthly and celestial matters.
The bathroom is a place that people go to, to change themselves ritualistically in someway: to become better through cleanliness or expulsion, to beautify themselves or try to hide their ugly parts. It is often the most private part of a home but at a social gathering it can be the busiest place with people queueing up to get inside. And what happens inside can be equally as shocking as it can be alleviating. This room contains aspects of ourselves that we would rather hide from others. But sometimes there is overspill with smells wafting out, flooding taking place or the plastered interior finally deciding to give way and collapsing into the kitchen. In some ways it is the most fraught room but the one that is most relied upon for separating off our bad parts or hiding guilty secrets. My practice explores this separation from the off limits shut door to the exposed uncanny mess, it takes the viewer on a journey from the outside to inside and reveals the repetitive need to visit this room, that sends dreams and fears into oblivion.
The dressing room of this grand house seems the most appropriate venue for my work. It is a room of wardrobes and draws, filled with hope and despair, forgotten silk and folded dreams.
‘a room furnished with a bed and intended primarily for sleeping’*
And yet, this definition is lost in a far away time, as relevant as a children’s fairy tale. Lockdown London confined me to the City of London and to my bedroom. Missing the printing presses at City Lit, I turned it into a workroom. I found materials at home to print and then I turned it into an office. When not enclosed by my bedroom, I wandered the streets of the City. I stared at St Paul’s which had closed its door. I gazed at office blocks which overnight had become redundant. I analysed every aspect of my bedroom, walls, ceiling and the carpet and I used household objects to make prints about domestic life, isolation and containment. I saw the Thames in a state of traffic-free beauty. I looked at the buildings and the materials they were made from; stone, concrete, wood; with new eyes and I brought them all back… to my bedroom, office, workroom, studio – great building blocks for making a printmaking life after lockdown.