Home Tent (2012, Abbey Mill Business Centre)
Layers of newspaper and tissue paper have been pasted together, painted then cut into strips and woven into a plain weave like that used in clothing and upholstery fabrics. Its simple pattern is also quilt like; a homely image. I see it as a lean-to; like the blankets thrown over washing lines to make tents for children’s play or a basic shelter offering protection.
When we think of Paisley’s past we often look to the beautiful and grand historic buildings in the town built by the wealthy owners of industry. The wealth of these families enabled them to give much to the town; schools, museum and galleries, the observatory. But Paisley also has a rich history of workers’ lives. There are many stories to be found in the smaller historic museums here. A history that includes acts of resistance and an insistence on fair play and rights for workers; Sma’ Shot day being the most celebrated among them. In these difficult times created by greed and the pursuit of wealth for its own sake, the young are struggling to find employment and workers are asked to reduce expectations and in many cases pay and entitlements are being eroded.
Last year we saw the rise of the Occupy Movement, an international protest movement against social and economic inequality. People demonstrated by setting up their tents and living in public spaces to ensure they were heard.
And so I wanted to use that image of homes made from tents to create something that linked the past to the present; that was about connection and necessity - Home Tent.
Home Tent (detail)