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Lauderdale Mansions/Ha'atzmaut
Freud Museum, London

11 July - 29 August 2010

Representing place and home and making visible the cultural memories attached to them are crucial to my work as an artist. I was born into a family of Jewish exiles from the Nazi’s; my father was an architect, my aunt Anne a bookbinder. In my art I am trying to map their places and experiences through objects and itineraries. This is a process of evocation and feeling the specific gravity of urban landscapes and interiors that are surcharged with memory.

Although a very different tale to that of Sigmund Freud, there are perhaps similarities to be drawn in the parallel story of my aunt. She, having fled from the Nazis at a young age, arrived in London and eventually settled in a mansion flat- the Lauderdale Mansions of my title, where she lived with her family for fifty years.

Last year, I had tea with my Aunt Anne in her flat; she had been recently widowed and she was now reluctantly emigrating to join her two daughters after having lived there with her husband Harry. The pictures which I subsequently made- based upon her surroundings and familiar objects -for me marked the end of a way of life, and the dissolution of a certain kind of Jewish existence.
I felt compelled to document this North London flat, with all its books and its stimmung , days before her belongings were to be packed up, and shipped to Israel.  Anne has been a bookbinder for most of the time that she had lived in this flat, and many of the books on her shelves have been rebound by her. They ranged from prayer books to collections of poetry that she particularly valued.

To complete this project I photographed Anne in her newly built apartment in  Israel still surrounded by her reconfigured possessions, only the light has changed.