Place & Identity (Contextual Studies)

Fontana O Toole stated that “Home is a word that has no meaning without the term away….”

Where do I come from and who am I?

Born in Dorset straight out of a Thomas Hardy setting, the manor house with 3 tiny cottages and its own private church, with a stream running by at the bottom of the garden and into the meadow, filled with beautiful flowers in the springtime, and a silence that is only broken by the birds singing, the sheep bleating and in the old days the cart horse’s heavy hoofs, that have now been replaced with tractors.

Born at home and carried at 6 weeks of age in my mothers arms, to be christened in the church, but at 5 months, my very first christmas, I was in Cornwall where I was destined to be brought up.

My parents had returned ‘home’

Brought up on a farm in Cornwall, surrounded by National Trust land and stunning beaches, an idyllic childhood, where you were free to run and play in the fields or on the beach with the wind in your hair and the sand in your toes. Animals galore and my special horse.

The kitchen table was aways filled with my mothers cooking, we lived off the land and eat whatever was growing in season at the time, apple tarts and clotted cream were a favourite, the rayburn used for cooking and in the winter a fire in the frontroom.

But at 18 years and 3 days of age, I left.

To go home now, is a longing that I have to fulfil every now and then, to touch base, to reconnect with who I am, and what my childhood made me.

Always the same ritual, flowers for my parents grave, a visit to the old farm and a walk on those same beaches.Within the last 10 years I have also returned to my birth place to visit and photograph a few times, it is really to document apart of my life for my daughter.

I only have to close my eyes to feel the sunshine of my childhood, and the happy carefree days, thats who I am.

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