HOME: Julia Pallone

Julia Pallone’s practice explores notions of belonging, to a house or  neighbourhood, for shelter or protection.

As Gaston Bachelard writes in The Poetics of Space, “the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” For Pallone, a house is the essence of home, a concrete place that nevertheless allows for the abstract qualities of rest and reflection. After the limits of one's own body, it is the next liminal space, delimiting the inside from the outside, and, whether a castle, a shed, or a caravan, it is a place to come back to. 

In her photographic series Gatekeepers, the gates of houses act as a threshold, with the plaster animal statues found outside of bungalows or cottages serving as totems, protectors, and guardians. These creatures, simultaneously kitsch and monumental, keep a close eye on those who pass by, creating a border between the sanctuary of home and the outside, unfamiliar world. A pair of reclining cows sit atop the posts leading into a long driveway, while pigeons perch on either side of a wrought iron gate. Miniature dogs adorn the picket fence of a country home and two birds, wings spread in anticipation of flight, are firmly rooted to the concrete pillars of an exterior wall. For Pallone, these symbolic acts of protection reveal the inner and hidden essence of the home; they materialize a state of passage, while recalling a forgotten link to nature.