A Life, A Presence, Like the Air

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United Kingdom

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Event description


A new site-specific audio installation exploring the everyday experience of social housing, stories of home, and the history of social housing.

Fleeting moments of struggle, triumph and tribulation told through everyday stories of people making good of austerity gone wrong.

The project is the culmination of two years of artist Caitlin Shepherd talking with people in Bristol, Machynlleth, Newtown and Stoke on Trent about housing, identity and emotion of home, home ownership, rent, social housing, class identity and earnings. It builds on the themes explored through recent commissions Discord (2016) exhibited at Somerset House, and Home (2017) exhibited at Knowle West Media Project.

The experience lasts for approximately 40 minutes, followed by a 20 minute discussion of the work. This new work is part of Caitlin’s PhD research and audiences are invited to reflect and share their experiences with Caitlin after the audio installation has ended. There will be drinks, snacks and a facilitated conversation following the event.

Booked shows: Each show is for 5 people at a time, and is free but must be booked in advance. Just select 'Register' to the right to book your place.

Open House: The installation will be also open house for drop in visits during the day. All welcome!

Location 1 - Waring House, Waring House Development, Redcliff Hill, Bristol, BS1 6TE

28th & 29th August. See map here.

Booked shows: 28th August: 5 - 6.15pm and 7.30 - 8.45pm. 29th August: 5 - 6.15pm and 7.30 - 8.45pm.

Open house: 28th August: 1 - 4pm, and 29th August: 10.30am - 4pm.

Location 2 - The Vestibules, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR

30th August - 1st September. See map here.

Booked shows: 30th August: 5 - 6.15pm.

Open house: 31st August: 10am - 2pm, and 1st September: 10am - 4pm

Location 3 - The Park, 45 Daventry Rd, Bristol BS4 1DQ

In partnership with Knowle Media Centre. 6th - 9th September. See map here.

Booked shows: 6th, 7th, 8th September: 5 - 6.15pm and 7.30 - 8.45pm. 9th September: 5 - 6.15pm.

Open house: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th September: 1 - 4pm

Practical -

Travel - Plan your journey by public transport here.

Parking - There is limited parking available at each location.

Guidance on ageSuitable for participants 14 years and over.

Weather - ‘A Life, A Presence, Like the Air’ is an outdoor installation, with the exception of The Vestibules location. Do dress according to the weather, and be aware that runs may be cancelled if rainstorms or high winds.

Cancellation – If you have booked, but unable to make it, please let us know via email so we can re-allocate your place to another person.

About the Artist - Artist Caitlin Shepherd brings you stories of home and housing from a range of individuals she has been interviewing over the past two years. Voices come from all over the UK, with a strong focus in Bristol. A Life, A Presences Like the Air, focuses on the history and present day provision (or lack of) of social housing, and invites you to consider the future of affordable, safe, social housing.

Project Partners - The Park, Knowle, The Vestibules, Bristol Council / Art Space Live Space, Knowle West Media Centre, 3D3, UWE, DCRC.

Project Team - Lead Artist – Caitlin Shepherd, Build Lead & Engineer - Dan Halahan, Production Assistant - Kit Jones, Producer - Rosie Strang, Technologist - Esther Tew, Photographer & Film Maker – Paul Blakemore.

Further information - Got a query or want to know more? Email Caitlin -

Cover me, cover me, so I am laid bare like stone. Cover me, cover me, so I have something to my name. Home. We leave our eyes behind in the surface of the mirrors. Our backs bound too, into the mortar of the walls.

Our homes; fabric of our minds, of our dreams. Of the deepest needs, nestled into our sheets. John Berger says philosophy is the expression of homesickness. Marx says material form, behaviour, social values are born of the ideology of the ruling class.

Sometimes they are banned, but the word still stands supreme. Tattered jackets, passed wrapped up in other names, between the hands of people concerned with freedom of thought, freedom to challenge the game of capitalism, and desperate self interest. These tattered jackets, these words. We are concerned with change.

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