Catherine Pamplin and her sister Karen Pamplin Browne have explored theme 'Reside' for new exhibition at The Stone Space Gallery

First published in Highlights
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Features Writer

Just what is home? Michel Eyquem De Montaigne believed home to be his retreat and resting place from wars, whereas Charles Dickens said home was a name, a word; stronger than any magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to.

Musicians have always had a complex relationship with the term, veering from either the need to escape from it: Chemical Brothers’ Leave Home, or return to it: John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads.

For others home could be a lover: ‘home is where the heart is’, or as Edward Sharpe sang: ‘home is wherever I’m with you’.

But what exactly does home mean to the community of Leytonstone?

That’s exactly what artists Catherine Pamplin and her sister Karen Pamplin Browne have endeavoured to find out at The Stone Space Gallery.

Since January 10, Catherine, a painter who incorporates other media such as textiles into her work, and Karen, a photographer and participatory artist, have taken up an artists’ residency at the gallery, exploring the theme Reside.

“The definition of reside is to make or have one’s home in a particular place or community,” says Karen, “so we’ve been actively making home in the art gallery and within the local community.

“It’s a very wide topic, with lots of scope for different interpretations. It’s been very popular, Stone Space has had more visitors to this residency than they have had for individual exhibitions, it’s rather surprising to be honest.

“People have been coming in, sitting and chatting to us while we’ve worked, or got involved themselves.“ Their residency at the Leytonstone gallery has now come to an end, but on February 7 the duo, along with a number of fellow artists and members of the community will exhibit a variety of different works themed around the topic.

A website has also been set up to showcase the home-themed pieces, which include those not selected for exhibition.

“We decided to look at home and what it is to reside somewhere for a number of reasons.

“We were thinking about when you move home, how you leave traces of things behind,“ says Karen. “And memories of the place that it was, and how it will never be the same, because things change, you change.

“There’s also the fact that we’ve both recently moved to Leytonstone. I’ve lived in 21 houses, I don’t know where I’m from originally, but I’ve lived in Durham, Oxford, Newcastle, Sheffield, San Diego, various places in London, and Nepal to name a few. But both Catherine and I have finally settled down with our young families in Leytonstone.

“I suppose it’s been a way for us both to discover what home is too.“ Reside will be exhibited at The Stone Space, Church Lane, Leytonstone, from February 7 until February 17. Details: www.thestonespace.wordpress.com

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