Photography: Ifigeneia Brouskari
Ceramic Stories is a series of workshops for looking closely at daily routines and other personal rituals that make us feel grounded. This could be brushing teeth, doing some basic housework or walking to the shop to get groceries. An exploration of the everyone’s day-to-day life to larger events.
I created a table with a built-in screen where you can see an interactive map of Rotterdam. The participants were encouraged to talk about their rituals and routines whilst mapping those on the screen. Suddenly their stories had a visual representation in clay. The clay was then fired making these into solid symbols of personal rituals, the participants also made small representations food and memories of larger events.
What do you do daily? What do you walk past? What are your rituals?
In a talk titled ‘A home is not a house’ at Royal Academy, London, speaker and researcher Helen Taylor describes the idea of home as a “slippery concept” and “to understand, we have to look beyond the physical structure of the house to the lived experience of home”. She outlines temporal home as one of the four categories of the ‘habitus’. This looks into banal events, routines and celebrations such as birthdays and gatherings.
In 2014, writer Taiye Selasi was invited to do a TED talk titled ‘Don’t ask me where I am from, ask me where I am a local’ where she explores the sense of belonging and talks about the three R’s of the framework of living space, one of the three R’s is ‘Rituals’. Daily rituals, however basic and invisible - are a part of home. Some vary with different cultures, some are exactly the same, everyone however has their own rituals too. So whether it’s a route from the kitchen to the table, or the route from home to a work meeting - this route can be easily mapped, and a simple linear shape can be identified.