Not To Go

What makes a house a home? The physical accommodation is merely a shell, becoming a home only with belongings and associated memories. When we move house we box up our lives. We leave the shell empty for future occupiers to fill, thus allowing a seamless handover.

Not To Go are the words printed on stickers, used by removal companies so they know what to take and what to leave. Our house was the previous owners’ home for 45 years. We know they found moving on incredibly hard and were surprised how many items they left behind. Some items were stickered Not To Go, countless more just simply abandoned. As such, when we moved in, there was a sense of sadness and of lives overlapping; a distinct feeling that we were in another family’s home with glimpses of lives and family history we barely had the first idea about. This work set out to document the poignancy that the previous owners left through their abandoned belongings.