Thank you to the organisers of this brilliant seminar by The Centre of Studies of Home and Queen Mary University, which myself and the duster collection attended last Friday. I gave a presentation on this project, which was very well received. The dusters were hung against the window for all to see, flooding the room with sunny light throughout the day. It was also a pleasure to meet fellow duster stitcher Cate Hursthouse for the first time, and to hear her research paper: ‘Unmaking the homely: familiarising the tablecloth’, I was particularly drawn to her comment that stitch ‘makes a decorative and loving mark’.
Discussions during the day included reference to the invisibility of everyday places and tasks, a topic featured frequently on the dusters, but also a ‘turn towards the domestic’ in wider artistic practice. We explored how art enables the revelation of our personal lives, thoughts and feelings through the practical exploration of and interaction with material things. Home was defined as the ‘single most important site for the study of material culture’. We questioned why people come together to discuss and explore creatively and what that meant personally to each of us as creative practitioners and researchers. All in all, a lot of food for though and plenty to reflect upon. We even got a few new duster stitching recruits too!