‘This is Home’

Robbie and Jo were selected for a VARC ‘Entwined’ residency in Northumberland based at Tarset Village Hall that took place in May 2021 (Information HERE). Their initial idea was to work with the Song Reivers Community Choir who use the hall, to investigate layers of place though sonification and voicing. During their residency however, the hall was unable to be used due to Covid restrictions. Robbie and Jo’s response was to use the external hall notice boards to communicate the words of ‘This is Home‘, by Sophia Efthimiou, a song from the repertoire of the Song Reivers Community Choir.

“I so often find myself looking outside of myself (mostly forward) to find a sense of completion, of rest, of belonging. I wrote this song as a mantra, to remind myself that I am always at home”

Sophia Efthimiou

The words in the noticeboards changed each day over the course of 8 days to reveal the lyrics of the song. Even though the choir was not able to use the hall for the social act of singing, the work was able to reveal some of the emotional landscapes present and to explore how creative work, even during a pandemic, can help maintain connections between individuals, community and place.

“This is home
Where I belong
In this breath
In this heart
This is home
Where I belong
In this voice
In this song

Sophia Efthimiou

Above: Installation of film of the work at Entwined exhibition at High Green. September 2021

Following the exhibition at VARC’s home of Highgreen in September 2021, the show toured to Newcastle and coincided with the launch of the ENTWINED publication and online conference.

Video of the process of making ‘This is Home

The video also contains information on the process of creating Field station : Here

ENTWINED publication

This full colour publication expands on some of the conversations and ideas sparked by the ENTWINED programme and reflects on VARC’s 21 years as an arts charity based in rural Northumberland. Authors include: Dave Pritchard, Susan Trangmar, Lucy May Schofield, Lesley Guy, Mike Collier, Alexander Marr, Ingrid Pollard, Julie Crawshaw, Ysanne Holt, Cynthia Morrison-Bell, Mike Pratt, Corrine Fowler, and Menelaos Gkartzios. There are also pages dedicated to each of the ENTWINED artists: Andrew Burton, Robbie Coleman & Jo Hodges, Sam Douglas, Shane Finan, Catriona Gallagher, Bridget Kennedy, Emily Ketteringham and Kate Liston.

The book is designed by Supanaught , published by Art Editions North and edited by Mike Collier and Helen Pailing. Copies can be ordered here

Further work Field Station: HERE made during the residency at VARC can be viewed HERE

Categories: 2021, Community Engagement, Installation, Site Specific, Strategy

Jo Hodges

Jo Hodges is a multidisciplinary public artist based in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
with a background in Human Ecology, community development and social justice.

Her work investigates ecological and socio-cultural systems, processes and relationships, and explores new strategies for working in public. Her practice takes many forms; temporary and permanent works, site specific installations and socially engaged projects and processes. She is often led by context, where the outcome is determined as a result of process.

She is interested in research, experimentation and collaboration at the intersection of environment, culture and technology and exploring the role of art in social change. She is joint Director-Curator of Sanctuary Lab, a public art laboratory in the Galloway Forest Dark Skies Park.