Anyone who has ever flicked through a interiors magazine is likely to feel a little dissatisfied with their own room. The homes within the glossy pages are pure perfection, promising lifestyles far out of reach.

“I love home interiors magazines,“ says photographer Emma Jane Spain, “they’re the only ones I subscribe to. But this idea of having a perfect home, well, it’s absurd isn’t it?!

“It’s a fantasy that is doomed to fail, life can’t compete with this facade of perfection.“

Together with her old Gwyn Jones Primary School schoolmate, fellow photographer Jake Green, the pair present The Tumbled House, a photographic installation that embraces imperfection and highlights the frailties of these so-called dream dwellings.

“We’ve produced images that are illustrative and painterly and graphic using textures and colours,“ says Jake, “to portray something that looks perfect but has subtle defects. And there are a lot of man-made materials, few natural ones. We’ve produced images that might fit in a glossy magazine, but there’s a bit more to it.“

Each image was constructed and composed in a joint effort and both say they can’t remember who pressed the shutter for which photo. The images have a retro quality and feature objects from Emma’s own collection.

“I come from a family of antiques dealers and house clearers,“ she says, “so I’ve always had a huge interest in vintage objects, as does Jake. Many feature here and help that idea from the ‘50s of having a perfect home and a perfect life.“

The pair attended school together but went their separate ways, each studying photography at different universities before launching their own careers. While Emma is an artistic photographer and Jake commercial, the collaboration has seen them step into each other’s disciplines.

“When we were shooting,“ explains Jake, “I was constantly trying to make it perfect, super-perfect. Emma was scaling that back. It was so ingrained in what I do. It was liberating to produce something like this that isn’t quite perfect but has elements of perfection in it.“

Emma adds: “We’re cut from the same cloth but our individual work is like chalk and cheese. It’s been great meeting in the middle.“

The Tumbled House is at The Stone Space, Church Lane, Leytonstone until November 11. Open Thursday and Friday 2pm to 6pm, Saturdays noon to 5pm and Sundays noon to 4pm. Details:,