Home Occupations

Welding, Philip ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7169-4789 (2021) Home Occupations. [Creative Project]


The output is a creative project, ‘Home Occupations’, comprising of a collection of photography, moving image and text-based works, to talk about the sometimes-absurd experience of ‘working from home’. Research process: Welding searched social media for visual evidence of what Jean Burgess describes as ‘vernacular creativity’ (Burgess, J 2010) in the actions of people who are working from home, with a focus on how peoples’ behaviours and their interactions with everyday belongings are affected by the home working environment. Research Insights: Welding found that working from home changes our relationship with the objects we own and the domestic spaces we inhabit. It results in inhabiting two personas; that of worker and homeowner. There is a contrast between the intangibility of virtual meetings and being surrounded by tangible household objects. Often, they serve as a reminder of something that needs doing. That shelf needs fixing. The lawn needs mowing. Other times, they are a welcome distraction from the work contained on the screen. In the US, zoning regulations have defined what is an acceptable home occupation. For Welding, the title speaks of becoming occupied with the home, its contents and the permeable divide between work and life. The photographs are humorous, but they also highlight a significant change in professional working lives, one that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but is now most certainly endemic and here to stay. Dissemination: The project was disseminated at the FORMAT International Photography Festival 2021, 12 March 2021 – 5 March 2023 as part of a virtual exhibition curated by Peter Bonnell. The exhibition can be found on the link below until the 5th March 2023. It was also published in the exhibition catalogue which has been distributed internationally through the Format Festival website.

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