Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Memories of Home - Mixed Media House Series

Memories of Home - 5 x 7 in mixed media painting
Memories of home, is a weekly series of art and reflections of home.  I will be sharing a selection of mixed media 4x7 houses that I have been making, that capture different elements of home either that I currently enjoy or that I remember as a child.  I had originally started making these as one of the monthly challenges on Motley Soul, but the challenges of life got in the way!    I have decided to continue to make and share the houses, which are made from a selection of materials.  As I continue to make the mixed media houses they take me back to times past and in contrast how very different things are now.  I chose a selection of words that all bring back memories of home life, or how I wanted my environment to be ie 'nurturing, relaxing, a sanctuary' things that I want to experience at home and I am sure that others too want to have that place where they can be themselves.  I will share a memory or thought whether from growing up as a child or where I currently live with my family.  Along with the mixed media house, every now and then I will add a journal page or a piece of art around the word for that week.

Earliest Memories
Parliament Hill Fields - age 4
 
My earliest memory of home was when I was around 4 years old.  We lived in 2 rooms on the 2nd floor of a house.  My mum, dad, me and my brother who was a baby occupied one room and my sister who was 10 years old occupied the other.  A large fireplace dominated the room and at bath times we had a large tin bath which mum used to fill with jugs of water.  I never thought about how it would be emptied, but I guess there are a lot of things that you don’t question as a child you just know that one minute it is full and we are playing, splashing and laughing and the next minute you are being wrapped up in an oversized towel looking forward to the night time snack.


The house that mum currently lives is where I grew up in from the age of 7 until I left home.  As a family we faced the normal ups and downs, the challenges and triumphs and came out the other end.  My sister was the one who started our quest for adventure, if you were bored and wanted something to do when we were kids you went outside and played.  My sister would take me and my brother all over London going to museums and galleries and exploring the sights that people come from around the world to see but many who live here take for granted. When my sister went off to University it was just me and my brother Robert.  We didn’t have the technology they have now and our entertainment was playing outside with a football, or making it up a game as you went along.  The storyline for our adventure games always involved a space ship, aliens, saving the world and low food supplies!
Gardens on our doorstep

 
View from Parliament Hill

We had to make use of our environment, we had Parliament Hill Fields and Hampstead Health on our doorstep.  From a very young age it was one of the places my dad would take us on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and we relished being out in the wide open space.  
Me and Robert continued to use it as our back garden and when we weren’t saving the world we would frequent the adventure play ground with its climbing frames and tyre swings.  We had loads of great memories of our adventures during our 6 week holidays, riding out on our blue scooters and facing the world of ‘aliens’ –  the sweets in our pockets acting as our cloaking devices and energy packs.
Traditions handed down

Back at home, finished your homework, cooked dinners and all of us around the table, the chatter of our voices excited to share what we had done.  Mums cooking could rival any chef and she could put her hand to an amazing array of dishes - the tastes, the aromas, the combinations, she was an amazing cook.  She passed on those skills to us as we developed our own specialities.  Robert mastered making deserts, pies, - mums famous fruit spiced cakes and his custard with a dash of mixed spice and vanilla which he would make from scratch - he made it an art, he made it just right with the balance of texture and flavours, it was on his 'to do list' at every family dinner. My sister mastered fine dining and I was always a ‘lets see what we can make out of this’ type of person.  I love the challenge of learning a recipe and making it my own, altering and creating and entirely new dish.  I like the spontaneous and it depends how I feel what I will cook.
I think back to those days with fondness with the family - no elbows on the table mind you!  but you spent time sharing about your day and more time was spent, listening, laughing and relaxing....

I hope you join me each Wednesday on my journey over the weeks, as I share my mixed media houses and some art journaling and look back to the memories of home, and look forward to you sharing some of your own memories.


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