Holiday Home is an exploration of memory, motherhood, perspective and more broadly chaos and order. It all started with a series of sun-bleached faded photographs; outlines of characters barely discernible to the unknowing eye. But for two people – my mother and grandmother – the faint features of a coastline and the overexposed faceless figures, triggered memorable sparks of time gone by, and aroused real emotion. As I listened to their accounts of these pictures - a family holiday many years ago - I was struck by the subtle differences in their recollections. I became interested in what may have fallen through the gaps. I wanted to examine the fallibility of our memories, highlight how they can be shaped by the worries, anxieties and social dynamics of the moment. I was also interested in the notion of how we try and define ‘truth’, and I was keenly aware of history’s ability to push forward an accepted narrative as being ‘fact’. In short, it doesn’t matter who won the battle, it’s who is remembered as winning, that history concerns itself with. The real events of what happened, whether it be a war or an innocuous family holiday can get lost or trapped in the cat’s cradle of time, as we often discover when shards of a different perspective occasionally float to the surface.

The two protagonists of my photographic play, a mother (Oprah) and daughter (Harpo), are continually battling with each other to make the audience believe their accepted version of events, as they try to remember and retell the fictional circumstances of a family holiday years ago. Seemingly at odds with each other the audience begins to realise there is a natural synergy between Oprah and Harpo. They are connected, as their names suggest, and both have the ability to bring order out of the chaos of their minds and occasionally communicate it through the linear logic of language. They rail and push against the roles society has mapped out for them, but ultimately, they come to accept their existence relies upon the weight of the other. Shepherd becomes lamb and lamb shepherd.

I wanted the title Holiday Home to serve as a metaphor for the mother-daughter relationship. A holiday is essentially a departure from the landscape, environment and circumstances you’ve come to know as home. When a mother gives birth, her circumstances are similarly changed, indeed, forever changed. What she once knew has to be, in some respects, relearned. Mothers are often left making permanent homes out of those changed circumstances. Making homes out of their holiday. Please listen to the audio , read and examine the photographic documentation of this performance. Take your time. Judge for yourself who to believe. It’s all in the way you see it.

Parts Read in Audio
Narrator: Jack Batchelor
Oprah: Iona Lee
Harpo: Kirsty Lackie
© Kirsty Lackie 2021                                 :)