Collected household dust, pva glue, Georgian chairs and brass plaques
Photo: Douglas Atfield
Commissioned by Firstsite, Colchester
Budget: Exhibition fee £2000
The property of Two Gentlemen was commissioned by Firstsite Gallery, as one of the final exhibitions in their previous gallery before they relocated. The gallery was a Georgian townhouse built in the mid 18th Century, and the brief was to respond to the history of the building.
Following a period of research, the final work focussed on the first occupants of the house, two brothers called James and Thomas Boggis, who lived there alone from when the house was first built until their death deaths at the end of the 18th Century.
The work was located in what would have been the Salon, a decorative pattern dating to when the period the brothers lived there was created using dust. The pattern crept across the walls of the room, spilling onto the floor, as if the absence of the occupants the rooms had taken on a life of it’s own. Two Georgian chairs, representing the brothers were placed in front of the fireplace.
Also forming part of the installation were two drawings of adverts from the Ipswich Journal in 1796 and 1799, advertising auctions of the property of the two brothers following their deaths, as a way of placing their possessions back into the space they once inhabited.
Unraveling the Manor House, Preston Manor, Brighton, UK,2010,Selected artists: Gavin Fry, James Hunting, Maria Rivans, Matt Smith, Louise Batchelor, Laura Splan, Kira O'Reilly, Penny Green, Catherine Bertola, Ingrid Plum, Emma Moloney and Caitlin Heffernan