if not now, then when?

if not now, then when? Direct dyes, reactive dyes, salt, daffodils, black tea, onion skins, cotton & linen bed sheets, duvet covers, tablecloths; rope. June 2021. Size: 14m x 7m x 5.5m. Shown as part of MA Sculpture online show at The Royal College of Art, RCA 2021. See text below.

My parents started renting Priory Farm in 1998. The barns were still full of farming equipment that had been sitting there for decades, and the garden was totally overgrown. My parents have renovated the barns slowly over the twenty-three years due to their low income, and always with uncertainty as to when we’ll be asked to move so the landlord’s son can have the property. Things were added, things taken away. Like a patchwork house. My dad’s a piano restorer, and if not now, then when? is installed on his piano workshop in the former stables and hayloft.

Moving back in with my parents during the pandemic allowed me to get back to the heart of my art practice: preserving, mending, fixing, joining things together, looking for the magic in old, discarded, left-behind things, repurposing, making, caring for giving them a new place and context. 

I wanted to make a textile covering for my dad’s workshop to bring soft domestic furnishings outside and to give them power and scale. I dyed and stitched together large bedsheets, pillowcases, clothes, tea towels, tablecloths, and placemats. if not now, then when? stretches out and displays the inside of the home, to explore: the inherited, the social histories of families, identities, areas, communities, bodies, class, and the relationship between art and craft.

if not now, then when? June 2021 With thanks to all the family and friends that helped, espcially my uncle.