These photos are taken from a model I made of my grandparents’ former home in England.
For this construction of my grandparents’ house on Richmond Road in Oxford, I relied on my hazy memory of the space and a book of old photos. I was interested to try to fill in the gaps in this source material I was using – and to see what the part-invented, part-felt and remembered construction would look like.
These photos are taken from a paper and cardboard construction of my childhood home.
When making this model of the Wing Road house, I was interested in translucency and the layering of materials–of seeing through one surface to another one to arrive at complexity within a single form or space. The pattern of layering and occlusion parallels the way we experience spaces we move through every day, seeing one room or corner through a series of doorway, windows, or curtains. Although our domestic contexts become familiar to us through repetition, particular moments or views can continuously surprise us with their strangeness, creating a sense of disorientation.
The darkness of the photos felt like the moment when you sneak downstairs at night as a child to a room that your family lives in during the daytime–something about it feels secret and strange.
These photos document the burning of the models that I made in my studio, as well as the aftermath of the burn.
Burn project involved taking the models I had made in my studio and walking with them through the streets of Philly. We set each on fire in a different location, and documented what happened.
I am conscious of working in a realm where the ideas of presence and embodiment are entangled with those of absence and loss. Paradoxically we do not see a space or a condition of life in all of its fullness until we depart from it or it changes. One danger in dealing with these themes is that of entering into the realm of nostalgia. Work surrounding the idea of home and memory risks becoming too sweet or benign, and thus losing its potential power. As a result it is important in my practice to keep hold of the play between presence and absence, to retain the darker side of connection that has to do with breaking bonds and grappling with loss.