1 September 2006

no place, like home, 2006

A series of organised coach excursions over four weekends around six heritage sites in Lincolnshire. Seven artists were commissioned to make temporary artworks in response to no place, like home. At the village hall, four artists produced performative pieces, which took place as part of the coach excursion.

Jordan Baseman, Melissa Bliss, Catherine Bertola, Gitte Bøg, Lucy Clout ,
Lorrice Douglas,  Lucy Gibson, Jane Porter, Adele Prince, Jennie Savage, Roy Voss

Curated by John Plowman

The 2006 Beacon project was entitled, no place, like home, in which the interplay of the possibilities of home being a specific location or a state of mind were explored. Inherent in the act of travelling is the notion of being away from home, but what does it mean to be away from home? In order to understand this we must first ask ourselves what do we mean by home. In no place, like home, the interplay of the possibilities of home being a place, a specific location, or a no place, a state of mind are explored. By necessity, a community finds itself working in another country, how do they relate to this new place as home?

As a specific location, the church is the focal point of a rural village. When it is closed down what does that mean to the village inhabitants? Both communities become isolated, but does home signify the same thing for the migrant community as for the indigenous community? In both communities the migration of a people and the closing of a church pulls the rug from beneath their feet, creating potential for the rupture in the fabric of that community. As the audience travelled from site to site, the Beacon coach excursion forefronted the temporal experience of travel and of being away from home. The audience were itinerant and displaced, becoming part of another, albeit, temporary community; experiencing the individual narratives constructed by each of the artworks they encountered along the way. These narratives were then used by the audience, both individually and collectively, to construct another narrative, their own, which was itself framed by the time taken to travel from site to site.

Access to the art and sites was through the Beacon coach excursion, but this year the act of transience was highlighted by some of the artists projects, which themselves were not fixed or located in a particular place but moved to different sites during the course of the project.

Jordan Baseman,
Boston Railway Station

Using the interview techniques of the documentary filmmaker, Baseman created a contemporary portrait of the displaced Portuguese community living in Boston. The final film whilst acknowledging the unpredictability of the interview process is anthropological in nature and examined the day to day lived experiences of its subjects.

Adele Prince
Across the Line
Sleaford and Boston Railway Station

Prince’s work had previously been conceived and sited in urban settings so, to really explore the rural landscape of Lincolnshire, she placed herself - or displaced herself - in its surroundings. She could easily have caught the train - as many people do every day - but, in doing so, she would have just got there. So, Prince made her own way, running the length of the railway line from Nottingham to Skegness, some 90 or so miles, exploring the route from a unique perspective. Combining her recent interest in running with her work as an artist, her journey was a challenge of mental and physical endurance, and hopefully one of discovery, as she documented those views that are cut through at speed by passing trains and overlooked by distracted passengers. This work was a development of previous projects such as Lost-Something and TrolleySpotting, where Prince had taken a different approach to a journey by choosing to capture the seemingly insignificant detritus that punctuates our passage through space, collecting evidence like a detective of the everyday.

Catherine Bertola
Beauty Amidst Dereliction
Bridge Farm, Bicker

In Bertola’s previous works, the debris of humanity - decay in the form of dust, of residual traces in derelict spaces - has been used to comment on the sweet and intimate deterioration unto death promised by the human condition.
Dr Catherine Harper

Place, history, and how the past impacts upon the present, are central to Catherine Bertola’s artistic practice. For the Beacon project, Bertola once again drew on her fascination with abandoned spaces, and her obsession with dust, the Matter of History, both in its physical materiality and through its associations to age, decay and time passing.

Everyday for two weeks, Bertola ritualistically and meticulously cleaned and polished the floor of the drawing room to carefully create a pattern relating to the date the farmhouse was built. The process of cleaning commenced in silence from dawn to dusk, and during the exhibition the repetitive and rhythmic sound of the action was played back into the space, alluding to the traditional and invisible duties of housemaids and domestic servants. Alongside this laborious cleaning ritual, the artist also painstakingly tried to fill in all the cracks that have appeared in the walls, as a futile attempt to restore the surface of the room and revive it to its former splendour.

Jennie Savage
Heritage / Site
Bolingbroke Castle

At what point does a site become historically valid? Who decides what is historically valid and what is not, and on what basis are these decisions made? What do these sites tell us about the culture we live in? History is a hierarchical system of representation. The people and places history chooses to represent do not achieve longevity by chance, they are the people who have had a voice in their lifetime, the rich, the powerful and the outstanding. The language of historical representation demonstrates a powerful, hierarchical system. That being the voice of science or objectivity, over lived experience, local knowledge or the understanding of a place. The problem of history is symptomatic of a wider struggle, that of representation. In seeking to represent something – a place, a community, a situation– the experience must be mediated and it is the mediation of experience that shapes our understanding of the world, our history and our future.

Heritage / Site takes 5, Lindway Court – Savage’s Cardiff flat, as a starting point, through which to explore this process of representation. She placed her inner life under the microscope of social, economic and political contexts. Through the objectification of her life, Savage began to understand her place through the eyes of the culture she lived in. Savage also saw that her heritage was represented not in castles or monuments, but through incidental, ephemeral, objects; a tea towel, a table or a wooden box signifying her lineage.

Roy Voss
All Saints Church, Benington

A sequence of eighty slides projected onto the back wall of a redundant Church in Bennington. Each image featured the eponymous sign ‘Fell’ sited at various locations across Iceland.

no place, like home was made possible with the support of the partners below