After a long day at University last week I headed out to an exhibition launch at the Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch. One of the amazing things about London is being super close to so many galleries and having the luxury to visit them at your convenience. Although the Geffrye Museum was on my to-visit list, I had never got around to popping in so it was a fantastic opportunity when I was invited to the exhibition event.
The Geffrye is a museum of the home and has a collection of rooms decorated according to different centuries, to reflect the fashion and culture at the time. They also have a stunning café that overlooks the period gardens, although it was difficult to appreciate them fully in the winter darkness.
The exhibition event which was hosted by first direct explored the statistic released by the Office for National Statistics that found around one quarter of adults in the UK are now living with their parents. This new generation nicknamed the “boomerang” generation were the focus of the art work and first direct aimed to showcase the story behind the adults who move back in with their parents.
First direct commissioned textile artist Jessica Dance to create a tapestry from comments left on social media relating to boomeranging. Jessica specialises in creating handcrafted models and props, do check out her creations on her website as she creates the cutest creations, my favourite being a breakfast buffet made entirely of wool “Wool B&B”. The tapestry highlights some of the many reasons that adults are now moving back in with their parents. So many I can relate to, I love going back home during my breaks from university for the chats with mum and fresh laundry!
What I found surprising is that many of the comments were submitted by the parents, such as, “personal taxi service”. Unlike living at home growing up, on moving home the dynamic in families often changes. Rather than being a parent-child relationship, adults moving back often have a lot more to offer the family, for example, helping with the family business or offering technical assistance.
To accompany the tapestry created, documentary photographer Emily Maccinnes traveled the country visiting a range of boomerang families. What was interesting on viewing the photographs was the huge variation in the boomerang families and how their relationships with their parents differed. The project shows the hugely positive side of moving back in with your parents and developing a strong family bond. One of the adults moved back to support their families through a difficult time, whilst another chose to move back to have the family house as a reliable base whilst starting a new job.
Living in London many of my friends live at home for financial reasons, especially to save up for a deposit on their own house. The exhibition certainly showed a positive side to living at home and although I don’t think I’ll be moving back to my parents in Devon anytime soon, I am grateful that the option is there.