Today saw me at my friend Elisy’s house. We had lunch of avocado and madeira cake before setting off to see her exhibition. Her work is based around ‘good’ female convicts – women who have fought for the empowerment of others. But instead of pictures on paper, the photographs were on illuminated street signs.When I looked up, expecting the easy commercial recognition of a logo, I was confronted by powerful women with their prison numbers beneath them. They were also black and white photos, the absence of colour allowing me the space to see the details that I might otherwise have missed. And this work, this amazing work, was in the house of Mr H.
I have never been in a house like it before. It was a space of idyllic chaos, neatly categorised. It felt as if someone (Mr H) had taken all of the pieces that make a home, thrown them all into a box, taken each one out all changed and reconstructed them without the desire for conformity. These alien designs created something elegant, strategic. And then it was filled with pieces of beauty. I saw piles of pieces of metal, wooden cutlery, a most impressive array of the flasks of our good lady thermos. The ceiling was its own kind of machine, decorated with structure and form and also absence. The space and the not space.
This challenged my own conformity. What should a house be? What could it be? My ideal space would always be one with the potential to change. Essentially everything I have now. But on castors. I also have a strong visual of a little circus tent indoors, that possibly houses my bed, with many fairy lights.. but my ideal slumbering position aside, accepting familiarity as to how things should be, stops me from accepting the new. Maybe it stops me from even considering it.
I guess there is a practicality in accepting something as they are first presented to me. I don’t feel compelled to reimagine the teaspoon or to exactly how a key turns in a lock. I simply accept that somethings are as they are (okay, the last bit is a lie. Many hours were spent with cardboard and tape trying to accurately fathom this. About what I did fathom was that cardboard locks are woefully inefficient, at least when I make them). But maybe there is more in my life where some alien imaginings might prove amazing.
Map Point. When did I last feel inspired enough to shine?