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Elephant West hosts a series of adventurous and immersive installations
Not to be Known by Aideen Barry. Film & video. Image courtesy of Aideen Barry.

LONDON.- To coincide with the London Design Festival this September, Elephant West, the innovative new art space in West London, is hosting a series of adventurous and immersive installations, exploring the idea of “home” and what it means in today’s world and in our increasingly digital future.

As current ideas of who we are, what we should be doing and how we should live are all under question, our idea of “home” has changed significantly at both an individual and collective level and yet home, or the idea of home, remains the place we turn to for both healing and restoration.

From a dining room of the future that brings people together from different realities, times and places, to a bedroom that shields us from the ever pervading digital world, to a Halotherapy room that exudes well-being in the form of a rococo salt cave, to a Microflora Pharmaroom that acts as a responsive space to regenerate our cells, Elephant West takes the visitor on a multi-sensory journey of healing spaces of the future, that is both playful and engaging.

Becca Pelly-Fry, Curator of Welcome Home comments, “We live in an unprecedented time of rapid change and social, economic and political upheaval and with that how we live and what home actually means has changed. Welcome Home takes a slight tongue in cheek approach to our idea of home in the future and what our new domestic environment might look like. Increasingly, we return home after a busy working day to rest and recover from the stresses and anxieties of daily life; if home is becoming a space for healing, what might that look like in the future?”

Welcome Home features artists from across the UK and abroad, working across a number of disciplines and sometimes working in partnership, to include Marisa Adesman and Christian Berman, Amanda Baum and Rose Leahy, David Rickard, Aideen Barry and Bompas and Parr Studio.

Welcome Home includes the following works:

The Dining Room by Marisa Adesman and Christian Berman. Film & video
The Ballad of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: In Berman & Adesman’s film, the dining room becomes a portal between worlds. More specifically, the dining room table acts as a place where pre-existing notions of domesticity meet more contemporary vehicles of entrapment. They have written, produced, and directed a film that is hugely influenced by magical realism and folklore, as well as contemporary feminist philosophy. The story is partly an interpretation of the Bluebeard myth (an ancient parable for female empowerment and a call to follow one’s intuition) and reflects their interest in the ways that gender differences and inherited legacies can be challenged.

Host by Amanda Baum and Rose Leahy. Installation
It’s 2068 and our microbiomes are almost fully restored, following years of what became known as The Silent Microbiome Crisis. As the 21st century proceeded, vast numbers of the microbes living within and around us died out. This mass-microscopic disappearance led to the establishment of Microbial Biobanks, originally operating as a public service and later developing in to luxurious rooms within people’s homes. Host presents the future today, projecting the possibility of homely human microbe cohabitation and celebration. Somewhere between a garden, a future pharmacy and your bathroom medicine cabinet, this responsive space heals you, and in return, you grow it.

The Bedroom by David Rickard. Installation
The Bedroom considers our changing relationship with privacy. Whilst a closed door and curtains in our home may have once ensured privacy, today’s world is less about physical barriers and more about digital awareness, as we navigate a world of non-stop news, web-cams and surveillance. Our environment is changing in a massive yet imperceptible way as microwaves now saturate our environment. The Bedroom will show three works interweaving to form a luxury bedroom of the future from earth-copper mesh curtains creating a digitally shielding zone in the home to Adrift a new film work as well as the creation of a space that explores not “hot desking” but “hot sleeping” inviting visitors to sit, lie and relax within the art work.

Not to be Known by Aideen Barry. Film & video
Seduced by the concept of the ideal home-maker and the working woman as proposed by the media, Aideen Barry’s stop-motion film, Not to be Known, shows the artist overwhelmed by the monotony and magnitude of domestic chores in nightmarish scenarios. To maintain the tension between reality and aspiration, the artist’s Medusa-like hair of vacuum cleaner hoses prepares and cooks the perfect family meal, irons the laundry, whilst she sits quietly at the kitchen table, sipping tea, and scrolling through visual images of the “dream” kitchen – i.e. spotless and nonfunctioning – on her Smartphone. The hair becomes so busy that it demands Barry’s body and drags her upstairs to make the bed, suggesting that adherence to her chores is a far greater need than maintaining an apparent quality of life. Finally, she chops off her vacuum tentacles in an effort to find her life outside the domestic space. Not to Be Known was commissioned by the Arts & Heritage Trust, UK.

The Halotherapy Room by Bompas and Parr Studio. Installation
“Halotherapy” derives from “halo”, the Greek word for Salt. Halotherapy is the use of salt vapour to combat mental lethargy, cleanse the skin and enhance the respiratory performance. The Halotherapy Room is an ode to the healing properties of salt in the form of a crystalline architectural interior and rococo salt cave. Visitors are invited to experience a vision of future wellness.

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