Home thoughts in new collection edited by Irish writer

A variety of contributors have helped compile a book which has home and art as its main theme
Home thoughts in new collection edited by Irish writer

Irish writer Wendy Erskine, who edited 'well I just kind of like it.'

ART in the home and the home as art, is the sub-title of a new collection edited by Irish writer Wendy Erskine.

well I just kind of like it is a collection of essays, conversations, photographs, fragments, drawings, and reflections, and in it, each contributor sheds light on the stuff of the home.

The written pieces are interspersed with photographs and drawings, some linked to the essays while others stand alone.

This is a thoughtfully chosen collection, with individual essays linked to the central theme in a variety of ways.

In one contribution, Latifa Akay writes about a rug that adorned her childhood home when she was growing up and now decorates her own home.

“It is true and perhaps very basic that when I beat these rugs, I feel connected with the women on my father’s side of the family,” she writes.

An investigation into the rug’s origins and the conversations with her father that are prompted by it make for a moving reflection on family and familial relationships and what is passed down between the generations.

A family connection is also at the heart of Nicole Flattery’s essay Tim Mara, which delves into the work of an artist who is also a distant family member. At the time she learns more about him, Nicola is doing research for a book and Mara’s art becomes a guiding light for Nicola.

“Through his work - work I urge you to go and seek out - I absorbed some of his incredible energy when I most needed it,” she writes.

Other essays in well I just kind of like it look at particular pieces of art in the homes of contributors and what they mean to them. A painting has different meanings for Joseph Scott and others in his essay The lady in my living room, while Rossa Coyle writes about a pair of scrolls purchased in a hungover daze while abroad and now exhibited as a reminder.

well I just kind of like it, edited by Wendy Erskine.
well I just kind of like it, edited by Wendy Erskine.

One of the longest contributions in the book is a fascinating essay called The Architect and the Housewife. Written by interdisciplinary artist and writer Frances Stark in the 1990s, it takes a specific piece of furniture and its location in the writer’s home and uses this is as a jumping off point for a refection on the line between home decoration and art and design and the creativity involved in making spaces where people live and work.

There are also contributions by Mauricio Alejo, Richard Billingham, Jo Broughton, Darran Anderson, Emily Dickinson, Susannah Dickey, David Hayden, David Keenan, Heather Leigh, Philip Mann, Jan McCullough, Gareth McConnell, Lara Pawson, Keith Ridgway, Annelies Štrba, Maurice van Tellingen, Joanna Walsh, Shaun Whiteside and Erskine herself.

It has been a busy period for Belfast writer Erskine. well I just kind of like it was published at the end of last year, months after her second collection of stories, Dance Move, was published in February.

There is a lot packed into this slim volume - thought-provoking essays and images which draw the eye back for another look, and another. Highly recommended.

well I just kind of like it, edited by Wendy Erskine, published by PVA Books. Available now.

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