I was pleased write an introductory text to Sophie Lee’s excellent exhibition Make Place (below).
Make Place is a solo exhibition by Sophie Lee investigating the artist’s interpretations into notions of the home and identity. Taking inspiration from her recent visit to a group of family owned islands off the West Coast of Iceland, Lee presents a gallery installation bringing together research from over the last eight-months.
During her visit to Iceland, Lee spent time with the family’s last remaining son, who in 1981, after the passing of his mother, took it upon himself to safe hold the family’s islands from the threat of sale. Taking up sole residency on the islands, he set about building wooden, family sized houses. Now, at the age of 75, having built twenty houses and one library, he continues his work, living in almost total isolation. Holding on to a sense of the un-finished, each house is unique and marks a lasting tribute to his mother and siblings. A place of contradictions and myth, the island and its inhabitant are fixed in a state of anticipation, nostalgia, transformation and change.
Bringing together her own narratives, experiences and documentation, Make Place is an exhibition that reinterprets this story from the experiences of the artist. Within the exhibition, Lee presents a fictional spoken word narrative between the island and the inhabitant.
Make Place has been developed and produced by Mark Devereux Projects with Sophie Lee over the last year. This exhibition signals the completion of the first research and development phase of the project, which has also included a talks programme concentrating on the thematics of domesticity and identity at Salford Museum & Art Gallery.