Jane Fox & Irene Mensah, Mutter Matter, 2011 © Jane Fox & Irene Mensah

Mutter Matter: Murmurings from the Drawing Room Table

15 June 2012 to 29 July 2012 Manor-House

Artists Jane Fox and Irene Mensah presented a new installation inspired by memories of their grandmothers, and the family life and entertainments of Sir John Soane.

Mutter Matter: Murmurings from the Drawing Room Table brought domestic rituals from the artists’ childhoods to the elaborate surroundings of Pitzhanger Manor. Situated in the Upstairs Drawing Room, the installation took the form of a large dining table, laid with a curious landscape of culinary ingredients, kitchen and dining ware, and a uniquely tailored table cloth.

The work explored the fragile and elusive nature of memory and the significance of domestic objects in connecting with the past. The installation fused the artists’ personal experiences - recalling their own grandmothers through domestic books inherited from them - with traces of the Soane family in the 1800s. Soane’s wife Eliza was conjured through her notebooks which listed guests and ingredients in planning for their nights of entertaining. Weaving this with other influences from the manor-house’s history, Mutter Matter refurnished a feminine presence in the space.

Image: Jane Fox & Irene Mensah, Mutter Matter, 2011 © Jane Fox & Irene Mensah