Desquamation #5 (2022)

A final set of images inspired by the prompt for The Kick-About #46, a quote from Gaston Bachelard in which he observes there is much more to a house than its geometry alone. I went looking for alternate landscapes in my home, which could speak to the realities of habitation and human activities, and finding them in the grease and chalk and dander. These photographs take the bottom of our oven as their unlikely, if rewarding, muse.

Desquamation #4 (2022)

In my quest to identify further shameful surfaces in my own home for the purposes of producing some new work for The Kick-About #46, I looked to the kitchen and bathroom, environments characterised by their constant use and various accretions. What I enjoyed about these images in particular is the way they play their games of scale and space. Rest assured. dear reader, a frenzy of suds and soap followed soon after!

Desquamation #1 (2022)

My response to this week’s Kick-About prompt – an observation by Gaston Bachelard’s observation on the true dimensions of a house – was in part, inspired by a recent re-watch of Street of Crocodiles by The Brothers Quay, a stop-motion animated short in which the miniature world on screen is characterised by its grime, dust, and catalogue of discarded, forgotten things.

Street of Crocodiles always puts me in mind of my student house when I was at art college, a rather grim affair of fractured linoleum, black mold, and an upright hoover that seemed to produce dust rather than consume it. ‘Desquamation, deriving from the latin word desquamare, meaning ‘to scrape the scales off a fish’, is the word describing the shedding of our skin. None of us like to think too long or too hard about what comprises the dust collecting on the surfaces of our homes, but to watch Street of Crocodiles is to fairly relish in the stuff...’ or so I have written previously, and it was with this in mind, I settled upon my idea: to visit some of the less pristine surfaces in my own home, and with the aid of a tiny, but blazing light source, illuminate these spaces that also speak to the truth of habitation.

Featured here are those sites of domestic shame: the grill pan, the unwashed hob, the dust-bunnies under the bed and behind the door, the stray hairs, beard-based or otherwise, once connected, now disembodied and abject, and also the cropping up of balls of bright red fluff, from my socks I think, but as widely dispersed as spores.