Constructed from the images of 26 objects, Caravan Arts’ first installation draws on a kitsch, pop art aesthetic to evoke a saccharine and retro filtered image of the ‘ideal home’. The caravan – the embodiment of ‘a home from home’ is newly decorated; furnished with images of objects that hold individual significance for participants.  Contributed by their owners in response to the question, ‘what object could you not live without?’, these chosen things are transformed into wallpaper; confronting us with the constant and dominant presence of inanimate objects in our lives and how we classify these in terms of value.  But would we reconsider what we value most if faced with the prospect of displacement? The patchwork of colour and texture draws us to their collective surface, elevating the everyday object and belying the fact that they are rich with individual narratives.

This project explores the multiple layers of the term ‘home’ in a changing world. This first stop imagines a romanticised place;  a cosy picture of nostalgic harmony, where we can have what we want. In reality the domestic space is a contested space, with prescribed roles that are performed and battled for. The notion of home is ingrained in our culture, yet is unstable, exclusive, divisive, and easily exploited for political means as we see all too often in current times.

Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in this room of home comforts and take a moment to think – what things would you keep close if you had to leave what you know – to reduce your existence to a few salvaged items? The idea is to encourage empathy for those people who, like us – have lives, memories and precious things; but unlike us – have had to leave these behind to flee for safety.

‘Home Comforts’ is a site-specific photo installation in collaboration with local residents – created for the Telegraph Hill Festival 2017


Contributors were asked…

‘what object would you take with you if you had to leave your home?’

1. Item: Peanut Butter Dog – Bella, 5, Tavistock

Value: Because he’s my bestest friend ever

2. Item: Blanket – Lucie, 28, Tavistock

Value: It makes me feel safe and warm

3. Item: Tomato Ketchup – Toby, 11 , Tavistock

Value: Because it goes with everything

4. Item: Guitar – Martin, 39, Tavistock

Value: Because I can’t take a piano or a keyboard and I need to be able to play

5. Item: Keys – Desrene, age unknown, Lewisham

Value: To get back in

6. Item: Crystal – Angela, Wales

Value: Wherever you hang it, it will give you good luck

7. Item: Teabags – Jonathan, 65, Bath

Value: It’s warm, comforting and reminds me of home

8. Item: Kindle- Alan, 41, Plymouth

Value: When travelling, I always want to read but books are too heavy and I always want to read more than one

9. Item: Iris Murdoch ‘The Red and the Green’ – Maggie, 67, Bath

Value: So I’ve always got something to read when I have to wait for a bus or a train, and she’s a writer that I’ve always meant to read but haven’t

10. Item: Glasses – Elizah, age unknown, Lewisham

Value: I can’t do anything or go anywhere without these

11. Item: Wombat – Tamsin’s husband, age unknown, Telegraph Hill

Value: A characterful soft toy that our adult children brought back for their father from a trip to Australia – very rightly gauging how much pleasure it would give

12. Item: Coffee pot – Gareth, 35, Brockley

Value: I can’t do anything without my morning coffee

13. Item: Engagement ring – Sue, age unknown, Charlton

Value: I couldn’t replace it, and I also can’t take it off
 14. Item: Painting– Tamsin, age unknown, Telegraph Hill

Value: I would save her from a fire because she is so old and has been in the family for so long it would be a huge
shame to let her be destroyed – even though we don’t know exactly who she is.

  1. Item: Photo collage- Sarah, 36, Brockley

Value:  Pictures of my husband and I travelling made for us by my brother – a trip of a lifetime and we got engaged while there too which makes this even more special

  1. Item: ‘Love one Another’ picture, Gaz, 35

Value: A special picture that’s been passed down the generations of my family

  1. Item: Chinese coin, Sarah, 35, Ladywell

Value: My grandma brought a bag of these back from China as a child and I’ve always kept them on my keys or on a necklace for good luck

18. Item: Welsh love spoon, Brynley, 63, Wales

Value: Because they bring good luc

19. Item: Passport – Anna, age unknown, Catford

Value: You always need your ID on you, especially when travelling

20. Item: Small brass elephant stamp from cover of “The Just So Stories” – Tamsin, age unknown, Telegraph Hill

Value: Unique and irreplaceable – something that my fiancé (now my husband) rescued from being thrown away by the publishers as scrap and gave to my mother (now deceased) and moved her almost to tears.  So tied up emotionally with two very important people in my life.

21. Item: Soft toy – anonymous

Value: It’s hand knitted by the Lewisham knitters

22. Item: Measuring jug- Frances, age unknown, Telegraph Hill

Value: This measuring jug was found by my grandma and grandad in their garden in Battersea, I guess in the 1920s or 30s. It moved with them to Suffolk and I inherited it when my grandma died. It sits on my kitchen windowsill and always makes me happy when it catches my eye.

23. Item: Handbag – Doris, age unknown, Lewisham

Value: Because it’s easy to access everything in it and I always keep it by the door ready

24. Item: My Diary – Kelvin, age unknown, Lewisham

Value: It has all my contacts in, I know what you need to go, and I can keep notes of what I do each day

25. Item: Blanket – Elspeth, 3, Telegraph Hill

Value: Elspeth – because I love it. Mum- It was my grandmother’s (her great-grandmother) blanket and she has been attached to it ever since she was born. If we go away, it is the one item the whole family could not do without because she wouldn’t sleep without it!

26. Item: My Teddy – Sylvia, 4, Telegraph Hill

Value: He is my most important object because he is my favourite teddy

Other chosen items not displayed:

Item: Family photographs – Shirley, Catford

Value: All my memories are in there
Item: The rose in my garden – Gillian, Lewisham

Value: It’s been there for so long

Item: Bag of recorders and music – Mervion, Deptford

Value: To cheer myself up wherever I end up

Item: My bed – Sheila, Leigh

Value: Because it’s so comfortable and I wouldn’t want to sleep anywhere else

Item: Cannon Camera – Anna, Catford

Value: Because I take it everywhere

Item: My Bible – Esmie, Catford

Value: It’s very important to me, especially the passage ‘In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight’ (Proverbs 3,5,6)

Item: My wedding album – Tanvir, Brockley

Value: It has all my family in it and special memories of my wedding in Pakistan in 1969

Item: Photos of my husband – Camilla, Crofton Park

Value: Because he died 22 years ago and I’m still devastated.

Item: Victorian mantle clock – Anne, Forest Hill

Value: Four of the same clocks were given to me and my sisters, passed down through the family. 5 years ago mine fell on the floor and cost more to repair than it was worth, so we have to keep it

Home is where the heart is….

Home is where I’ve always been

Home is where I’ve come to

Home is where I’ve left

Home has a gender

Home has a behaviour

Home can be welcoming

Home can invite

Home can exclude

Home can divide

‘Home from Home’ 26, 29 March, 1 April at the Telegraph Hill Festival 2017

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