The Dolls House at Uppark, had a huge impact on me as a child over constant visits with my mother and two sisters. We acquired our own monumental dolls house and each of us made furniture and curios. (I still have the doll’s patchwork quilt made by my mother). (Alice)
HG Wells spent a great deal of time at Uppark as a young boy, as his mother was the housekeeper in the late 1800’s. The library influenced his imagination and desire to become a writer as he immersed himself in its rich contents.
His science fiction book ‘The Time Machine’ describes an alternative universe, which moves between the virtual dimensions of the earthly world. In ‘The War of the Worlds’, the earth is invaded by the Martian beings and sign-posts the apocalypse. We have used these novels of HG Wells to make our own futuristic cityscape in the Dolls House room. The city is destroyed and inhabited by strange and curious creatures called Eloi (from H G Wells original text), is depicted on the wall. A futuristic house is erected next to the existing Dolls Houses. The lower section is the shards, ceramics debris of broken buildings and destroyed world. In the top section, the creatures make a new environment, where the familiar becomes unfamiliar and magical. The creatures are explorers, they begin to venture beyond their house to occupy crevices, corners and cabinets in other rooms.
Helen Felcey (ceramics) and Alice Kettle (textiles) have a history of collaboration with each other, and co-creation. They combine their practices to make collections and environments of cloth, thread, slip-cast ceramics, fragments and stitch. The creatures are both beautiful and strange, which like HG Wells’ vision of the future questions our perceptions of the real and the unknown.