I was especially interested in three women connected to Knole: Victoria Sackville-West, Josefa Durán known as Pepita (her mother and infamous flamenco-dancer), and Vita Sackville-West (her daughter). A working fountain, Innards borrows the form of a dressing table and makes public a space usually reserved for private ritual. Water, architecture, gardening and intimacy are brought together to reference important elements of these women’s lives. The title refers to the guts of the women and the divide between the refined exterior of life at Knole and the more hidden daily workings and relationships that existed.
The fountain echoes Victoria’s incredible energy and the installation of running water, electricity and telephone which she oversaw at Knole. The planting of Heliotrope nods to Vita’s later career as a gardener. It was also the base note of Victoria’s favourite scent. The work alludes to the difficulties and complexities of these mother–daughter relationships, and of finding moments for tenderness, care and sensuality against the backdrop of public display and the performance of being a ‘lady’ of Knole.
I am creating a bespoke calling card as a nod to Victoria’s passion for stationery. Register here to receive this printed work this summer.
Performing the Toilette, a performance, will take place as part of the work on Tuesday 7th August.