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  • Writer's pictureRitchard Allaway

14/07/21 - Home

Reflecting upon 'Home'

This year has not been a particularly great year, not just for me, but for the rest of world with the COVID19 pandemic taking a huge toll on people’s lives, with millions of deaths devastating families. I myself along with my partner, sister and friends all caught the disease but thankfully we fought through and we're the 'lucky ones'.

Aside from COVID19 I was diagnosed with stage 1 testicular cancer. It was safe to say a great shock to me and to my family as what was thought to be a simple 'routine' infection turned out to be a life-threatening disease. I won’t ramble on into too much detail but the concept of being diagnosed with cancer (at 33) is a scary thought, but for it to be a real concept is somewhat surreal. To process the understanding that something in your body is attempting to bring you closer to death is a terrifying thought. I myself being quite an upbeat and positive person made an agreement that 'it is what it is, and if it is meant to be, then it is meant to be, and you get on with life, no matter what happens'. I found this to be the right attitude to have and as stated in a previous blog, when and how do we find solace with oneself or after oneself? Does being told over the phone by your GP that it is the worst outcome, and with having cancer you react in away that amplifies a calmness in oneself? This is where 'Home' comes into the fold...

Undergoing chemotherapy has un(fortunately) made me housebound for the summer holidays... six weeks in total; another lockdown one could say, but this time I am on my own. My immune system is very low, and I am susceptible to infection and if I was to catch an infection, even a common cold, it could be life threatening but with COVID still rife, one cannot take any risks.

The film is about the wilderness of your own environment after your time within the Anthropocene. Titled ‘Home' I was considering what are the landscapes and environmental aesthetics within my isolated surroundings. As I navigated myself around my house, I thought about how I have adapted the interior to suit my needs functionally and aesthetically but on recollection I was able to consider just what was left. If I was to be removed from the house, what have I left behind? What marks have I made? What would be seen as me? Is there a sort of individual wilderness left? A morbid thought but the awful idea of my parents stepping into my home knowing I am not there anymore, how would they navigate or see my environment? Would my part within the Anthropocene be over and if so, what footprint did I leave?

‘Home' captures that moment of stillness, after the being has left the home. There is a temporal enfolding occurring throughout the ten minutes that considers the past and present and what remains. Does a new form of sublime occur after the human has departed or does the new form of sublime experience occur before the removal of the human and at the acceptance of one’s own mortality with 'life' moving on?

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