Glasgow-based artist Sogol Mabadi was born in Iran and grew up in Sweden. For her exhibition with fellow Glasgow artist Birthe Jorgensen, ‘Home Where Home Is Not’, she explores ideas around home and ‘what it means to be of more than one place’.
‘The exhibition ‘Home Where Home Is Not’ at Platform and Glasgow Women’s Library is the result of a long project. It began in the winter of last year with a series of workshops with women from the East End of Glasgow, followed by a residency and development phase.
‘The workshops were around the idea of how we arrive at new places and how we make new homes. There were two separate groups, one at each venue. At Platform many of the women had lived in Easterhouse all their lives and it was a very committed, closed group who came to each session; at the Women’s Library it was an open drop-in group and we didn’t know who would be there from one week to the next.
‘The women were incredibly generous about their experiences. I was really struck by how much the feeling of being in a community of women allowed them to open up and share things. The idea of being witnessed and heard came up quite often, and it felt important that they were able to share their stories and be involved in inspiring work that was then going to be seen in an exhibition. The artwork wasn’t separate to them – they were very much part of it.
‘Through talking with these women, it confirmed that for many people the only certainty socially and globally these days is uncertainty. We talked about homes, landscapes, changes, and the idea of interregnum – that the tools we had before don’t work for the new situations we’re in.
‘The word ‘raft’ came up a few times in conversations and I instantly knew that I wanted to make a raft of some kind for the exhibition. I made the raft as it fed into the idea of how our foundations are increasingly liquid as opposed to solid.
‘This was all quite new to me because I’m not used to working collaboratively, whereas this is Birthe’s forte. We wanted to do it at our own pace to make sure to find different ways to remain generous and be sure about the ethics of it as well. The workshops were important because we wanted to have an ear to the ground and find our voices amongst other people’s voices – to make sure that it’s true for other people not just us.’