Not currently on display at the V&A

At the End of the Day

Hanging
2007 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Natasha Kerr creates complex, multi-layered objects that resonate with the hidden histories of family heirlooms and everyday objects. 'At the End of the Day' takes as its starting point a series of family photographs given to Kerr by her mother. Tucked away for many years in a cupboard below the stairs, these images provided Kerr with what she describes as a 'visual thread', linking her to an otherwise unknown part of her family history.

At the centre of this piece is her grandfather, a Viennese surgeon who came to Britain in 1936. Interned during the Second World War, he was released to carry out essential work as a surgeon. The transfer print depicts him lying prone on a blanket in a garden: one of the few images taken of him in repose. Her grandmother sits alongside, shielding her eyes from the sun, and an empty chair completes the picture. The stitched fabric radiates away from the image, and the artist describes the process of a flag taking shape as she worked. The empty chair is a poignant marker of both displacement and absence: a testimony to the condition of invisibility shared by many during these years.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Transfer printed, silk screen printed, hand painted, hand stitched linen
Brief Description
'At the End of the Day', transfer printed, silk screen printed, hand painted, hand stitched, antique French linen hanging, designed and made by Natasha Kerr, British, 2007
Physical Description
Transfer printed, silk screen printed, hand painting, hand stitched antique French bed linen. The transfer printed image depicts a male figure lying prone on a blanket in a garden. A seated female shields her eyes, an empty chair completes the picture. The stitched fabric radiates away from the image, reminiscent of a flag.
Dimensions
  • Height: 75cm
  • Width: 110cm
  • Framed depth: 3cm
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
Credit line
Supported by the Friends of the V&A
Historical context
As an artist, Kerr takes the viewer on these often uncomfortable journeys to reveal something about both a personal and collective past. In 1998, she created an installation entitled 'There are Things You Don't Need to Know'. Set in a Victorian townhouse in Battersea London, the installation resounded with the unsettling voice of the past. Incorporating sounds (ticking clocks, a dripping tap and a child's laughter), smells and objects, it evoked the presence of an absence: a somewhat forgotten heritage. For many years, the house had been home to generations of one family, whose last member had died 12 months earlier in the front room. For Kerr, the dilapidated and crumbling nature of the building reflected the fractured family relationships at the heart of her work; the peeling paint and wallpaper a symbol of the layers delicately stripped away by the artist to reveal a greater truth.
Summary
Natasha Kerr creates complex, multi-layered objects that resonate with the hidden histories of family heirlooms and everyday objects. 'At the End of the Day' takes as its starting point a series of family photographs given to Kerr by her mother. Tucked away for many years in a cupboard below the stairs, these images provided Kerr with what she describes as a 'visual thread', linking her to an otherwise unknown part of her family history.



At the centre of this piece is her grandfather, a Viennese surgeon who came to Britain in 1936. Interned during the Second World War, he was released to carry out essential work as a surgeon. The transfer print depicts him lying prone on a blanket in a garden: one of the few images taken of him in repose. Her grandmother sits alongside, shielding her eyes from the sun, and an empty chair completes the picture. The stitched fabric radiates away from the image, and the artist describes the process of a flag taking shape as she worked. The empty chair is a poignant marker of both displacement and absence: a testimony to the condition of invisibility shared by many during these years.
Collection
Accession Number
T.43-2008

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record createdMay 7, 2008
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