In his series, The Whole House Is Shaking, Thomas Duffield pays tribute to an idyllic childhood on a small farm on the outskirts of Leeds, while simultaneously confronting a darker enclave of family history.
In his final year project, Duffield focuses his attention to his family life on the farm where he grew up. “Our home was a static caravan that sat quietly in a field with walls entangled with Ivy, on a small farm where my mother and father began to raise my sister and I.”
“Throughout childhood my father struggled with a heroin addiction. However difficult it may have been at times for my mother and father, to my memory we had a charmed life growing up. As children, my father’s addiction was not discussed and after he left, years passed with little contact. Only now do I begin to understand the complexities of my parents relationship. I now meet with my father regularly to offer support as he undergoes a detox. when we meet up we talk about nothing in particular.”
Composed from small details of everyday life and portraits of his mother, sister and grandfather, the project also dwells on his father’s clandestine heroin addiction, hidden from the children whilst they were growing up. Like few projects running with similar themes, Duffield captures a beautiful alternate perspective, which encapsulates a sense of warmth within throughout the series.