THINGS FOR HOMES
/ HOMES FOR THINGS
Things for Homes / Homes for Things is a project by artist James Prevett and commissioned by TACO! that explores sculpture and objects in the home. It takes as it starting point the making of a sculpture for an individual. Historically sculpture has had a direct relation to public space, public office or public institutions such as the state or the church. Where sculptures have been made for specific individuals these have been largely for wealthy individuals and their estates as a demonstration of social status. It is rare that sculpture is thought about in relation to the site of the everyday home or domestic space. The traditional sites and contexts for sculpture have conditioned our understanding and reception of sculptural objects and how the sculpture is understood and defined.
Since 2018 James has spent time with people in their homes, locally in Thamesmead and with people in different parts of the country. This has led too long -term conversations about sculpture and the social life of the objects we possess. Why is it that so few people have what we might call sculpture in their homes? Do our objects become domesticated? Does sculpture need a public? What is it that makes something sculpture or sculptural?
Along with artist/writer Annie May Demozay, James has interviewed people in their homes about the stuff they keep around them. These interviews, together with interwoven archival material from Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth form the basis of Conversation Pieces —a series of audio pieces made for radio broadcast that explore our very human responses to matter and material. Following these interviews and discussions, James then made a series of twelve cast bronze and aluminium sculptures. The sculptures use everyday objects as their basis and have been gifted to interviewees for them to live with in their own homes so that they may develop a relationship with them. Maybe they are prized as sculpture, maybe they end up as doorstoppers, maybe they are discarded, maybe they begin their own stories.
Conversation Pieces will be broadcast on RTM.FM in January 2022, and as part of Radiophrenia in February 2022. The project concludes with an artist’s publication that documents the made sculptures and peoples lived experience with them. The publication is published by Rooftop Press (Helsinki) and TACO! (London).
James Prevett makes objects, text, images and video often combining them together as sculpture. His work deals with the vitality of things – images, ideas, memories, objects – and the way the sculptural is experienced and understood. Sometimes uncomfortable and sometimes humorous, James makes nuanced and highly crafted work that resists simple thematic readings. James has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally including Finland, Thailand, Singapore, USA, Austria and Brazil. He represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2006. His project Parties for Public Sculpture (2017- Ongoing ) invites artists to make a ‘party’ for an existing public sculpture. In 2021 he was awarded The Lineman Prize, by the Olga and Vilho Linnamo Foundation. James lives and works in Helsinki, Finland where he is currently Lecturer in Sculpture at Helsinki Fine Arts Academy.
Things for Homes / Homes for Things has been made possible thanks to funding by the Henry Moore Foundation, Finnish Institute UK and Ireland and FRAME Finland.
All images courtesy the artist