HOMe-hOUSE 22 – Home?
The picture above is a pen and ink drawing with watercolour paint/crayon/pastel wash in my A3 sketchbook. It’s of the terrace of four houses in the street where I live, very early one summer morning. I live in the second one up. I wish I had the ability to loosen up my style, maybe I need to work directly with pastels, I can’t help correcting and reigning myself in.
While I was doing this off and on over a couple of weeks, I was thinking about what we call ‘home’. My series is called HOMe-hOUSE, and my feelings towards where I live is that I live in a house, not my home. When I think of home, I think of the place I was brought up for most of the years until I was 15, in Werrington, the other end of The Potteries. When I dream the events often take place there, an expanded place surrounded by the memories, objects and people. I felt a little at home when I lived in Cardiff overlooking The Taff and somewhat when for over 20 years I lived in a ridiculously large house overlooking Tunstall Park, but it was never quite. Maybe it’s because I have no children, there wasn’t an emotional attachment. I was married at that time but that fizzled out.
I’ve asked a few people about what they call home, answers have varied, some feel home in places they currently live even though that may only be recent, others call home where they were brought up, others wherever they are with their partner or children.
Number 39 was definitely home for some before I moved in nearly two years ago. In 1910 Minnie Wood was born at the house, her mother was Lillian and father Edward a coal miner, and she lived in the house for most of the rest of her life. She married Frank Meacham and had a son in 1933, records show her father was still living with them for many years, becoming a lorry driver. In the 1950’s she married again, a Piotr Slusar. There were many Polish men in the North Staffordshire area at that time, because during WW2 they had got away from the Nazis and many were based at army camps near Leek. So this house most definitely would have felt home for her. (thank you to the amazing work Colin Ainsworth did for me finding information) There are almost certainly some photographs of them somewhere, I may look into that for a future posting.