In support of The Magpie Project
Home stool is the beginning of a collection of furniture focused on coming home.
I have always been aware of home as a safe place, somewhere that has a reliable energy that softens hard days. This subject, of course, came into focused thinking towards the end of March and has continued since. When I think of home i’m taken back to my childhood, i’m kept in the present and I dream of a future all with the understanding of a peaceful place to call my home.
‘Where are you from?’ Is a question that asks so much, It is a question that wars are fought over, but one perhaps we have been replying without consideration. I wonder how is it we come from concepts so flimsy as countries? These places that seem to be foundational in our identities shift as policy decide they should. The territories of this planet are unstable ideas most of which are products of the last 2,000 of our 200,000 year existence. To say that we are from a place is to speak of that place’s absoluteness, a fixing of space and time. Whilst histories are real and cultures are real, the question of the shifting parameters of countries are invented.
This is not the case for the feeling of home, ‘where is home?’ Is a different question. This asks for an experiential answer, a cultural answer and one that seeks to see the person not the place. Home comes from our relationships, from the rituals we take part in and from our cultures that evolve, never beginning or ending hardly quantifiable by borders.
Home is inside, this is true. Inside the body is the home, I often need to be reminded of this.
That which exists inside the walls of the house, is the home, not in things but the space that surrounds the things.
I’m writing this with a back drop of a privileged life. I have always had a feeling of home, I have always been given safety and Ive always had walls to be safe within. At the beginning of spring my thoughts turned to those without that feeling. It seems home for many without walls is luxurious thought and one that shouldn’t be.
A few years back I came across the work of JB Blunk, an American artist whose work with carved wooden sculpture, ceramic and jewellery felt immediately familiar.
Most work made by hand tells us the story of the hands that made it, but his work felt more than that, more personal somehow. This wasn’t just the hands, this was the body, the soul. Each piece could be titled ‘home’ as they hold within them the sense i’ve tried to describe for you. If artwork was a house, his work is the home. Maybe this is more apparent as he had built his own home for his family in the late 1950’s, but I wonder that maybe these things are extensions of each other.
The home is the work and the work is the home.
I wanted to try and translate the feeling his work promoted in me into this stool.
The stool is a quiet object, it is unassuming and something easy. It works, it is a working object, it can be a table when it needs to be. It’s stable but movable, just like the feeling of home. It’s the extra seat at the table for the unexpected guest at dinner. It’s the single step ladder or the mountain top for the inventing child. It’s there to take your weight and does not complain when you favour the armchair.
This stool is here to help you see that the space around it is home.
The Magpie Project
Supporting mums and under-fives in temporary accommodation in Newham
The London borough of Newham has the unfortunate honour of leading others in the number of people in temporary accommodation, child poverty rates and homeless referrals.
The Magpie project wanted to do something to make sure that a spell in temporary accommodation does not cause permanent damage to children who experience it.
A report published by Shelter in December 2019, shows one in 12 children in Newham is homeless - the second highest rate in England.
Whilst this and last year have been difficult for all, the effects of the pandemic will be felt by these families the most in the years to come.
Yet we have also been shown that we are at our best when someone needs our help, when someone needs us to be who we are in order to help them find who they are, and bring clarity to both paths.
I know that sometimes we just need someone to be close to; to hold a hand and say 'i am here' in those times when asking for help feels impossible.
50% of the profits made from Home Stool will be given to The Magpie project to help continue there essential work.
Click on the logo to visit The Magpie Project website.
Home Stool is made possible with support from a-n Bursaries: Time Space Money