Designers on your doorstep
Home is a beacon. It's a light that guides you through your rituals. It grounds you when times are dark and you need shelter. My rented home of seven years collapsed literally, in a physical sense, as the shifty reclaimed soil of Abbotsford twisted its old wooden bones beyond what it could take. In the middle of our most intense lockdown I scampered across to another house I could afford with a free room. Holding my torch aloft to the ceiling I gingerly appraise whether it will betray me like its predecessor before resting it safely in place. When you don't own your home, the torch you carry will be the light you aim at the parts of your life you can control. The glimpse of autonomy you can afford yourself. The way your reflection is cast to your community, families chosen across liminal online platforms. It paints the walls that you cannot. It bends the space you call home across time. You claim it yours. Until it is sold or neglected beyond your ability to hold it together. Until you take it on another journey and water its potted roots again.
IMAGE > Darcy Jones, Bubble Buddy 2.0, 2021, offcut PMMA, powder coated aluminium and LEDs., 40 x 40 x 100 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Design feels more now like a mirage than it ever did. People have taken a turn towards the esoteric over this period. Either anxious of their eccentricities or celebrating them and turning over a new leaf. The strange and creative ways people have furnished their houses either with bizarre internet finds or their own creations speaks to the way we converge, aesthetically without the presence of time to inhabit and feel out our spaces.
I tried to ritualise my practice towards experimentation. An hour with pencils and paper, an hour with material, another hour to sit and see the new forms in space(s). To be honest, what I documented over that time reflected more the chaos of uncertainty I was feeling. Committing to a project securely didn't feel possible in the mental space I was inhabiting. And without the people I love inhabiting the space I was creating, I was reacting to my anxieties about the world. It's not all gloom.
I had many breakthroughs. I've become comfortable with the idea of experimentation for the sake of it. Several shelved projects have re-emerged in their correct context. I think sitting with what might have felt like failure for a time is a way to extract the richer idea that sparked the experiment. We don't drink wine the day after the grapes are picked, or whatever the Italians say, y'know?