My earliest memory of The House is from the day we moved in: scrambling through the dusty cellar, my father in tow, and finding a model train that the previous owner had left behind. It was my first experience of moving home; I chose my bedroom, decided where my toys would go and was delighted to discover, as any six-year-old boy would, that the gaudy Roman bathroom tiles contained illustrations of topless ladies. These were my first glimpses of a building that would help nurture me into adulthood and, in many ways, become a fifth member of our family.

Years later my father overheard me tell a friend that I was “going home” as I set off back to university. “This is your home,” he said. He was right, of course. Just as my father remained my father even when I was not with him, The House remained my home even when I was not living in it.

The House was not only a space for family life, but also for my parents’ work as artists and printmakers. Inside their home studios, they produced pieces that would be exhibited far and wide, including etchings they printed for the likes of Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, and Celia Paul. The House was both deeply personal and it was our connection to the far reaches of the world through the work that was produced inside it.

Last August – 28 years after moving in – my father passed away in the living room, my sister and I beside him. The House was witness to the loss of its last residing family member; the two of us children had moved out years ago, and my mother had died in 2013 in the very same room.
Following my father’s death, we slowly dismantled the contents of The House, picking it apart piece by piece, room by room, memory by memory. Each day, The House became less recognisable, less ours. Eventually, void of its contents with its bare walls exposing shadowy outlines where once a picture hung or a bookcase rested, it appeared as something it had never been: just a house.

We fill our houses with the carefully curated paraphernalia of life. Our personalities, beliefs, wealth, health, love and occasionally even our very soul can be observed through our homes. As we grow from childhood to adolescence, teenagehood to young adult and beyond, we live out so many new experiences, play out so many childish fantasies, and resolve so much angst within those walls that they become intricately attached to our innermost selves. The thought of letting go is like tearing out a part of us, as though everything that happened inside them would vanish into the ether of forgotten memories, were we unable to return to the very spot on which they occurred.

By connecting the memories held in photographs with the physical reality of the spaces in which they existed, this project attempts to uncover a portrait of our home from the relentless veil of time. In doing so, it explores the changing space that photography can occupy and its role in shaping the way we experience the world around us.