Royal Exchange Theatre (2010)
“From your Elvis in the shower to the tin toys on your shelf, the shell suit in your wardrobe, the photo by your bed… At home: the place we’re most likely to kick off our shoes and be ourselves, display ourselves, give ourselves away; the place we make a private exhibition of our lives.”
Over 3 days in January 2010, members of the public were invited to drop in to The Studio at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Here, you found yourself in a front garden complete with plant pots of love; a washing line of scandal and shame; desperate, funny and heartfelt messages in (milk) bottles; a porch of suitcases packed with objects of desire – and a front door. Through the front door and into The Studio-transformed-into-a-home, visitors were met by four suggestions of rooms – a bathroom, living room, kitchen and bedroom – each furnished, each with its own unique soundscape and lighting design.
Once inside, you were encouraged to explore… to open the cupboards, find what’s under the bed, rifle through the drawers… you were invited to peep into the bedroom cabinet of nightmares, relax in the bathroom of floating dreams, read the toilet roll of consumption, and investigate a most unusual infestation in the sideboard…
I worked as part of a core team of five from the Participation team at the Royal Exchange Theatre to deliver MAKING AN EXHIBITION OF OURSELVES. The final exhibition included contributions from members of 16 organisations, representing a cross section of schools, communities, young people, early years groups and adults, 17 professional practitioners, and an additional 593 individuals.