While the idea of home is almost universal, the concept is most powerful amongst migrant communities such as my parents who arrived in the UK at the end of the 1950s. They came to secure a brighter future for their children with the intention of returning home within a few short years. The reality was not so straightforward and like many who came before and after them they endured long hours in poorly paid jobs which left little in the way of disposable income.
Growing up in the UK ‘back home’ was a distant and revered place suspended in time and animated by stories of people whose past and present bled into one. On the two or three occasions when one or other parent disappeared ‘home’ for a funeral they would return with the taste of home in the form of green bananas, pimentos and sweet scented mangoes smuggled in suitcases. The return journey to their beloved land faded with the accumulation of years, remaining a dream for the best part of their lives until that ‘home’ only existed in the imagination.
The work I developed for this exhibition reflects on what my parents and aunt left behind when they made that final journey home. The precious objects in my mother’s cabinets kept for ‘a best’ which hardly ever came out and my aunt’s home of a returner – a place apart the interior which straddles the two sides of the Atlantic. The form of these photographs reveal a return to my early practice of still life and interiors which feels both comforting and familiar – another representation of home.