The Unsafe House
THE UNSAFE HOUSE – (2017)
This was a strange project that was born out of conversations about family with close friends. We found a semi-derelict house in Peckham which is rented out for art shows and set a random date. Sarah Ainslie is a brilliant photographer and made hers about layers of family secrets. Beadie Finzi torched legal documents from a toxic family court case that rippled down generations. Andrew Dawson adapted his one-man show from letters his depressed father had written him before he died, his body undiscovered for ten days. Ravi Lloyd deconstructed Hidden Treasures his film about growing up mixed race in Anguilla and the United States in the abandoned kitchen of our house. I made a piece I called Unsafe Mummy.
Ackley Bridge had over-run so I had to make this piece over a few weeks very late at night and at weekends. It was made in a kind of unconscious dream like state and it felt very exposing, from the soft figures I made by stuffing tights with hollow fibre to the soundscape put together from memories and stray bits of music. I think the piece looks and feels rather like a foetus, a half formed, undigested thing. It caused some offence to my family and the making of it and the feeling of it left me feeling disturbed.
But. But. What is art for? Is it always to console and reassure?
Of course when you take the risk of bringing something new into the world, one of the very real fears is of being completely narcissistic, of making something of no interest to others, of making a fool of oneself and that fear can be paralyzing. But the advice I give others and try to take myself is to keep taking the leap into the unknown. What else can we do?
MY UNSAFE MUMMY – Penny Woolcock
Ladies tights, hollow fibre filling, wire mesh and kitchen hooks.
Soundscape (work in progress)
Voices: Penny Woolcock, Juliet Martinez, Hydar Dewachi, Gretchen Andrew.
Sounds: Crying baby, street sounds, water, storm, rain, ice cracking from Freesound project: freesound.org
Howling Wolf: Howling for my Baby
Connie Francis: I’m sorry I made you cry
Carnival Drumming, Candombe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwMaxxrHVoc
Chopin: Les Sylphides
Brenda Lee: I’m sorry
Sandy Dillon: Motherless Children
International dictionary of Psychoanalysis – Annihilation Anxieties: Marvin Hurvich
The Three Little Pigs: Traditional fairy tale
Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 2 The Pool of Tears: Lewis Carroll
Psychoanalytic Aesthetics: The British School: Nicola Glover
Fergie: Big Girls Don’t Cry (lyrics only)
The Wretched of the Earth: Franz Fanon
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: Mary Baker Eddy
Soundscape Editor: Ravi Lloyd