The Sky Inside

'Home-Maker,' an interactive, web-based documentary by artist Jeanie Finlay, presents seven evocative portraits of housebound older people from South Derbyshire and Tokyo. The piece, which previously toured the UK as an installation, was produced through a non-traditional type of residency in which the artist spent considerable amounts of time at the participants' homes learning about their histories and current preoccupations, and garnering reflections on the seemingly vast material worlds surrounding them. Each portrait provides a different conception of home and what it means to be home-bound: Florrie is content to reside in the place she shared with a lifelong partner now gone; Monji-San is happy his apartment is situated in a good part of town. In most cases, the participant's possessions play a significant role in their stories, a trend well-served by the panoramic style of Finlay's direction and the work's interface. Viewers can activate sequences or anecdotes by scrolling across the colorful, intricate interiors and selecting different objects. In one memorable portrait, Aoki-San recounts how she took pictures of the sky from her window each day for 26 years. The resulting collection of photographs, much like the other participant’s collections of anecdotes, serves to document her sedentary life in the most dynamic and boundless of ways. - Lauren Cornell