Home Lab

Photo by Jassy Earl

Home to me is something ungraspable, at times very visible and for sure something fluid and alive, that keeps changing shapes. A feeling that arises and disappears. It is people, it is moments, it is shared experience, it is communities, it is hope, it is in the music I play, the songs I sing, in the water of Copenhagen, in the forests of my hometown, in my room in Berlin, in my body, in my actions, in every moment. Home is transforming, is learning, is trusting, is becoming. Home is to be connected. Home is something I don’t know, something I can’t grasp, can’t feel, can’t frame sometimes.

—Zola Mennenöh

In January 2019 the Home Lab bought together 15 artists to work with Lead Artist Luke Pell to explore the topic of Home documented by PUSH+ filmmaker Jassy Earl.

You can watch all of the Home Lab films here and view a selection of Lab photographs here.

Whakapapa is a taxonomic framework that links all animate and inanimate, known and unknown phenomena in the terrestrial and spiritual worlds. Whakapapa therefore binds all things. It maps relationships so that mythology, legend, history, knowledge, tikanga (custom), philosophies and spiritualities are organised, preserved and transmitted from one generation to the next.

The first three days of the Lab were spent at Wiston Lodge, a charity housed in a former Victorian Hunting Lodge built in the 1870s allowing us to get to know each other walking and talking in outdoor spaces, over communal meals and sitting round campfires.

On the first day, Wild Journeys led a version of whakapapa, a way of introducing ourselves and the land, people, stories we come. Sharing each other's whakapapa stories pulled out themes and connections that fed directly into ideas explored during the Lab. While at Wiston, we spent time around the campfire in the the evenings, climbed Tinto Hill, experienced a Sound Journey with Niroshini Thambar (PUSH Migration Lab artist) and began responding to tasks from Luke.

After a well-earned day off exploring Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat, the group headed to the rehearsal space at the Royal Lyceum Theatre where they could focus on developing their ideas and working on them together.  

In addition to time on their own, all the artists attended an event at the Traverse Theatre, called Home - is where the art is? where Quarantine, Glas(s) Performance and Cultured Mongrel shared projects around the theme of Home.  On the penultimate day they also led a workshop with young people from Edinburgh Young Carers sharing, and learning about, new stories about 'home'.

The PUSH+ partners joined everyone for the last two days of the Lab so we could finish with an informal sharing of new production ideas.  The artists had worked alone and in small groups to present a fantastic array of different responses.  Watch this space for where these ideas go next.