Leave Home Stay 2008

RIBA South East suggested I propose a further event for Architecture Week. This time I chose two themes inspired by the photo I had taken of my parents' last mantel piece, and discards of old houses which had been neglected for years at a local salvage yard. For 'Mantel Pieces' I made up mantel stories using an array of objects installed with a covert narrative, photographed and enlarged them. I then encouraged visitors to come and make their own mantel stories using objects they brought with them, or artifacts I had gathered from charity shops - items which had been on other mantel pieces. I photographed the visitors' arrangements and these were posted on RIBA's website. Two storytellers came to encourage a performative telling of mantel tales, and a local architect, Guy Holloway, talked about the role of the mantel piece in modern architecture, and its equivalent.

'Lost Property' was an installation in the garden which included a set of stairs which I discovered tucked away in the back of a shed at the salvage yard. Some months later I later discovered the stairs had been salvaged from the flats above the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Margate High Street. Later in the year elements of Leave Home Stay were included in an fringe art event at the World Archaeology Congress in Dublin.

And I considered the broader themes of the mantel piece for the Guardian

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