Sharon McElroy Artist and Filmmaker
Patterns Of Home (2017) Film still
Patterns of Home is a semi-documentary style film that explores the often precarious nature of ‘having a home’ in the 21st century. Four men who regularly attend the Faith in Action drop-in for homeless people in South-West London discuss the obstacles they face in finding and keeping a home, the daily challenges they encounter when sleeping rough and the tactics and resources they use to survive. The film investigates the men’s own and other people’s attitudes to homelessness, and the phenomenon in which paradoxically, due a lack of affordable housing, homelessness co-exists with extensive redevelopment and building in the UK.
Referencing 18th and 19th century Toiles de Jouy fabrics, the film re-contextualizes timeless vignettes of rural and pastoral scenes along with harsher, contemporary urban landscapes. Situating the imagery within a digital film context forms a contrast to the woodblock, copper-plate and roller printing techniques used to produce the original fabric designs. The juxtaposition of these apparently tranquil pastoral and rural motifs with the men’s accounts of the transitory, unpredictable and dangerous existence of their rough sleeping lifestyle instigates new and troubling narratives around this once idealized imagery.