In September 2016 I moved to London after having lived in Manchester for 12 years. It was like almost everything I relied upon for stability and comfort, surety and routine, suddenly became much further away. I decided to process this transition by talking to others, and by looking a little more closely at what was happening for me.
I felt that I was in one of the most heightened periods of transition that I had ever experienced, and chose to meter this by imposing various new routines on my daily life. I started to record my dreams, and photograph my bedclothes. I recorded myself talking about living in London every day at 07:36 in the living room, just after waking up and making a cup of coffee, feeling exhausted and wary of what the day would hold.
I then chose to talk to other people about these transitions. I asked for volunteers to record their dreams and three people kept a dream diary and then recorded themselves reading out their sleeping life stories. I also got a few people together from Uni and we chatted about "home" - what makes somewhere feel like home, remembered stories from home, etc.
Finally, I made some work inspired by these moments across the first six months of my life in London, which can be found below. Please experience this work as I did, chronologically. The work below includes photographs from this period of time, sound pieces and clips from recorded conversations.
The floor of the flower shop I worked in for two days per week just after I moved to London
An extract from Paul's dream diary
"James" - A song inspired by James' dream diary
Me, Ollie, Ruth, Lamis and Thibaut talking about "home"
07:36 In The Living Room (the time and place where I recorded by thoughts about my move)
Instructions to the listener Set an alarm for 07:30AM At 07:36, eyes still blurry, dreams still present, go to a comfortable space Listen to the song
Day break You remember me As I fade In your perfect skin And surrounded by him You wake
A piece inspired by the transition between waking and sleeping, and by the parallels between that state of being and of being displaced and feeling lost and away from home. This piece explores the feeling of home as being one where you feel part of yourself, when you recognise your feelings as familiar and safe. These transitions are difficult but powerful, they unlock parts of your personality that were dormant and they shift perspective.