Two years ago I spent a week in this White Space and the surrounding countryside battling through a rigorous process of art making. It was challenging and ultimately taught me a lot about how I work. Reading over my blog posts from that week I realised that connecting to places and people has been central to my work for years.
When I read about the Leviny Sisters at Buda I thought I was reading a fairytale. It’s a history that fascinates me. The complete redecoration of their late father’s house with their own handiwork in the philosophy and style of the Arts and Crafts movement spoke to my imagination. A persistent image I had been grappling with for months was of a woman transforming herself into a wild thing by sewing herself a second skin from her fur coat. When I read about the sisters I knew this place was somehow in the same world as my vision.
Further research has lead me into the lives of the Leviny family, the Arts and Crafts movement, and literature of the time including Virginia Woolf. What started as a hunch that this place may be interesting has turned into a dance for joy.
A quick list of some things I’ve noticed in my research:
- An integrated process of design and making,
- material honesty and integrity,
- accessible good design for all households,
- women finding creative spaces domestic or not,
- and an interest in medieval craft
These are just some of the ideas and themes that are relevant to my own work, and I recognise in the work of my peers and in the international art world. I will extrapolate on them in future posts.
So in brief my project SKIN is focused on the domestic space as creative space through the story of the Leviny sisters at Buda. Key questions in researching this are: What does producing creative work at home do to the domestic space? How does the environment and surroundings affect the work? And this relationship between home and creativity, does it affect the way makers and viewers value, interact with and understand the work? The development showing at the end of the residency will be a combination of craft and performance, in Buda house.