Aged 4, my parents seperated, and we moved close to my grandparents. Whilst my mother cleaned up the house she’d been renting out, we lived with my grandparents. Even after we moved into our own place, we were only a three minute walk away, and I spent a lot of time there.
At 19, I moved away to go to college, then to university, and at the same time, made a great many bad choices, developed bad habits, and entered into bad relationships.
6 years later, I moved back into the house, with my grandparents. It’s probably the best decision I made over the whole 6 years, and a big part of the reason I’m not dead right now.
This house has changed in so many ways, but in other ways, remains exactly the same as it was when I was 5 years old.
Using a combination of family photographs and slides (of which, thankfully, we have many), and my own photographs of the house, I hope to eventually create a story spanning the past 25 years, and more.
These are the very first of the photographs I’ve taken of the house. The whole idea for the project began in part because I’ve been digitising the huge quantity of family photographs and slides I’m lucky enough to have, and in part because I’d been thinking about a side project I could do alongside something I have in the pipeline which is going to be a much longer term thing.
This bookshelf has been in this same spot since I can remember. There’s a lot of furniture that has been in the house since I was a small child, but this bookshelf is amongst the few things which have never been rearranged. For me, it’s a fixed point in time. It is also the one thing that really brought this project idea into my head.
I remember staying in this bedroom many times throughout my childhood. The bed was in a different place earlier on, although I also recall it being where it is now. The most potent memory this position evokes is waking up one morning, maybe 7 or 8 years old. My family had been decorating, and unbeknownst to me, a bucket of wallpaper paste had been left at the foot of the bed. For whatever reason, I had scooted to the very end of the bed, and plonked both feet straight into the bucket. I called for my mother, who, thinking I’d just put a foot into it, called for me to hop to the bathroom to wash my foot. Everyone but me, I believe, saw the funny side.
I remember staying in this bedroom many times throughout my childhood. The bed was in a different place earlier on, although I also recall it being where it is now. You can hear the traffic occasionally pass through the night on the road outside, and even now, I find the passing of traffic more often a comfort than an annoyance.
I confess, I’ve had something of a creative block of late, in large part due to the focus on a funding application, and the very singular mindset I’ve had regarding it meaning that I’ve had trouble really getting my teeth into anything else. But, the application has been submitted. It’s unlikely to be a success, there were several things missing, but I’m very glad I put so much effort into it. Whether I get it or not, what I now have is a very specific, very good, project proposal, which can be used both personally, and as a template for any future funding bids. In addition, I’ve identified several areas of my creative life which I need to work on, so that if this sort of opportunity arises again, those missing parts are filled. I see that as a success in and of itself.