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41 Kensington Place
HOUSE takes place in a range of spaces throughout the city rather than one dedicated building. A relationship with the domestic informs many of the projects. The project at Kensington Place further explores how artists appropriate, intervene and work within different places, spaces and contexts.
Kensington Place is a street in the North Laine, Brighton, which we walk down, knowing little about its previous and current occupants. Research revealed its interesting history and this has been the inspiration for this project. The two artists Jayne Eagle and Gary Goodman have been chosen for their response to specific aspects of the location. Jayne through an intervention in the space relating to one of the former inhabitants of 41 Kensington Place and Gary through a reading and text in relation to one of the former residents of Kensington Place. The works explore the relationship of the former inhabitants and the traces they leave which are imprinted within the space and street. At first sight Jayne’s subtle arrangement of objects within 41 Kensington Place might be perceived as nothing out of the ordinary, but further investigation brings in notions of the uncanny through the feeling of the unknown and the hidden. The history of houses and streets, such as Kensington Place, is ever evolving through the relationships between past and current inhabitants.
The works for the intervention at 41 Kensington Place are a response to the known history of the house, specifically of one Victorian family who lived there for over 60 years.
Influence for the intervention came from the Victorian passion for collecting curiosities. Small intimate works and assemblages reflect on the culture and zeitgeist of the time combined with the personal details of the families who lived there. I was predominantly interested in the Croxon family who had prospered through the development of the industrial age, in particular the railways; the father, George had worked locally building train carriages. The family also had in total ten children (nine of whom were girls) which influenced many of the works.
I have made and merged materials with found and sourced readymade objects and images of the Victorian era, setting them up to create a dialogue. A sampler made from human hair, takes its words from a child’s original of 1880 and a velvet pincushion incorporates legs from dolls of the same age. The materials are specifically chosen for each work to be the defining catalyst between form and understanding. Toys made from ephemerals such as icing sugar and paper, and white cotton birds, void of detail all reflect on the history that disappears with the passing of every generation and the fragility of life.
Curator: Clare Sheppeard
Re-shown for Brighton and Hove Open Door 2010
10th and 11th September 2010
Brighton & Hove Open Door work with the local architecture and built environment of the city, bringing a different dimension to the hidden spaces of Brighton & Hove. The history of houses and streets such as Kensington Place is ever evolving through the relationships between past and current inhabitants.
Thanks to North Laine Community Association and Brighton & Hove Open Door.
Below a selection of work from the exhibition
Rest, bisque figure, metal box, velvet, human hair & pin.
Flock, cotton, synthetic wadding & aluminium.
Sampler, Momento Mori, Human hair, wood & cotton.
Pincushion, velvet, synthetic wadding & bisque dolls legs.