“When I was growing up, we traveled a lot because my parents are both photographers so for their work, we were often going to new locations in Britain or to new countries…
But I always felt hugely connected to ‘Home’ and that was always Hebden Bridge… a small town where everybody knows everyone. I became fascinated by the concept of ‘a sense of place’ and began photographing my friends and everything around me as a way to try to make sense of my place in the world. While doing my degree at Brighton University, I wrote my dissertation on how other photographers investigate this subject and called it, ‘Picturing Home.’
When the world stopped in 2022 my partner and I made a huge decision to uproot ourselves and move to Portugal, in search of a small piece of land where we could live more creatively. Through traveling around Portugal I was able to learn about working with clay, making ceramics and using natural building techniques and I am proud to say that I now know how to build my own home, with my own hands. The fact that a concept so primitive and instinctive as this is so novel to us today, completely blows my mind.
We have returned to Hebden Bridge for the summer and as an artist in residence at the IOU Hostel, it feels really natural to me, to be able to welcome other travelers here too and introduce them to my hometown.
I want to return to my earlier interest in ‘a sense of place’ and explore that through the medium of ceramics. It seems very fitting that the hostel houses the body of work that I intend to make during my stay, which I will call, ‘Picturing Home, revisited.”
“A chair is still a chair, even when there’s no one sittin’ there
But a chair is not a house and a house is not a home.”
When I was 20 I talked to Dionne Warwick on the phone in a house I couldn’t afford to rent and eventually had to flee.
Dionne has a song called “A House Is Not A Home”.
It was written for her by Bacharach and David for a film of the same name.
The film is about a New York Madam called Polly Adler who ran a bordello in Manhattan.
When I was 33 I lived a few blocks away from Polly Adler’s in a flophouse on the Bowery, it was £10 a night and the rooms had no ceilings.
I’ve moved house a total of 38 times, I’m not sure if I ever moved home.
The work I am making at the IOU Hostel is about home- what makes one, what you call it, how it feels to get there.