Swings and Roundabouts

So since then I’ve been toying around with some ideas. Considering the swings and roundabouts of life, the places we choose to live our life, ‘Our corner of the world’- my favourite saying from philosopher Gaston Bachelard. I’ve been thinking of ‘Our corner of the world’ in response to place, which is a bit different for me, as normally I solely consider the private space of our homes. But instead I’m looking at the bigger picture of the area we call home. In particular the area I currently call my home- Cumbria. It transpires that my Grandma (my other grandma, on my mum’s side, not the Glaswegian one with all the figurines) was born here in Penrith and spent her early year’s just two villages away in Yanwath. My great grandparents met here in the Lake District and married just a year later. They moved to my hometown of Darwen, Lancashire five years later with my grandma and her two brothers in tow.

So I’m back to thinking about the layering of lives and the repetition of memorable moments- The repetition of memorable moments throughout the generations. As it just so happens that excitingly I’m recently engaged and we plan to marry here in The Lakes. I think the date and times of these events are going to be essential to the work. I asked my grandma to bring up some old photographs of the family and their wedding for inspiration. But I knew then that having the photographs on display in the church would be too literal, there would be no mystery to the piece. So I’ll keep thinking!

Close Cottage

I’m going to have to jump ahead a few blog posts because I can’t wait to write about last night’s adventures up on the hills of Ullswater. Me and few friends decided to take a trek up a fell just behind the village of Glenriding in the late hours of last night. Walking up there in the darkness, but for the little light coming from the torch on my iPhone, was needless to say pretty scary! On the way back down, as promised by the friend who’d done the walk before, was an abandoned cottage named Close Cottage. It literally looked like we’d just walked into our very own horror film and we hadn’t even gone inside yet! The house was perfectly creepy. A small symmetrical house, the door in the middle, four windows either side and one above. In the darkness, I was certain that from behind those curtains someone was going to peer their little ghostly eyes from behind them. We were fulfilling all the stupid character roles you see in films, you know when you shout at the screen asking why on earth would they go inside there?! But it was so intriguing! Especially to me, my inner art was ready to go inside and explore the abandonment.

Entering through the front door with a little force we all bustled in scarily awaiting the fate of the house. I was so excited though! It was amazing; looked like I’d just walked into a Rachel Whiteread piece, especially with the fireplace. It was just so eerie! We walked around screaming and jumping at any new sight. We even managed to muster up the courage to go upstairs. The windows looked so creepy and it felt as though something or someone was going to touch me at any point!

It was a crazy experience! Really got me thinking whilst I was in there though; Why was I so scared? Someone had once lived there; people had had memories, memorable moments there surely? Without people, without furniture, without light it became an empty shell- a really creepy one at that! A big pile of post was scattered at the door, I rummaged around to try and find a name, a previous occupant. I found a name of Geoff Taylor, Mr and Mrs Taylor. Where had they gone though? Why had they left? How long has the house been empty? Whilst trespassing in the house, it felt scary; it didn’t possess any qualities of home. It just provided a shell of shelter.