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from : Kent, UK

personal object : a photograph of a house

This is a photograph of St Anne’s House in Heywood, Rochdale, in which I lived in for nearly 16 years as part of a community. The photograph was presented to me when I left. It was signed by all the members of the community and I hang it in any house I live in to remind me of my time there.

The house was previously a home for young mothers expecting a child out of wedlock.

I met a friend from church who was adopted and he wanted to know more about his history. We eventually found out that he was from this very house. He is now working on a relationship with his birth mother.

The photograph represents something that shaped my life. I went as a volunteer with the intention of working there for 9 months and ended  by working there for 15 years. The time I spent at St Anne’s House taught me to build relationships.

chosen artwork : Industrial Landscape    L.S. Lowry, 1955

I chose this painting as it reminds me of Heywood, the Lancashire mill-town where the house in my photograph is situated. The terraced houses, mills and chimneys were a new kind of townscape for me. Coming from the leafy suburban South East, this was quite shocking at first. However, I found the people who lived in these bleak streets were far more friendly and easy to get to know than those from my home-town. As a result, I decided to stay and have lived in the North West ever since.


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 Click here to see Nick's chosen artwork at the Tate