Gettin’s House – an installation created especially for the Barn by artist Christina Peake
9 - 25 July 2021
Gettin’s House is a vibrant and immersive onsite installation and series of digital works created by Bajan British artist Christina Peake. Responding to the particular culture and nature of North-East Scotland, ￼Christina playfully intersects her learning with stories from her own imagination and wider themes of Caribbean and Scottish diaspora. Combining ￼environmental awareness, individual testimony and cultural narratives in a vivid and playful way, Gettin’s House is a richly-layered project and the first presentation of Christina Peake’s work in Scotland.
Book Now - Installation
Commissioned by the Barn as part of the ‘Becoming Earthly’ Seminar Series, Gettin’s House by Christina Peake includes an installation on site at the Barn and accompanying digital content, including downloadable immersive walks and self-guided learning packs for all ages.
Discover the installation
Some years ago, when Christina was in Barbados, she visited her grandmother’s close friend called Gettin. Gettin’s house was hard to find, located in the rural Scotland District of Barbados where a dirt road was easily missed. Gettin lived in an old chattel house. Chattel houses were the original mobile housing for those working on the plantations since British colonisation in 17th century and is particularly synonymous with Black Bajan heritage.
Together this work explores themes of Caribbean and Scottish diaspora from the perspective of the artist and draws in the emergent relationship with the Barn’s creative networks and audience, bringing together learning and the cultural, communal and environmental intersections between them. As part of this commission, Christina has been collaborating with Aberdeen-based writer and performer Shane Strachan and will interweave her rich and vivid Afro-Caribbean traditions with Doric storytelling. This project is a unique opportunity to discover the history and connections between Aberdeenshire, Scotland and the Scotland District of Barbados.
Gettin’s House is an installation of a ‘Chattel House’ and also exists as children’s playhouse embedded within a coral reef, created out of recycled fabric from offcuts of tartan, African prints and Christina's personal collection. The accompanying projected landscape and soundscape captures the Scotland district of Barbados. Pre-recorded stories by the artist can be played within the house and landscape by visitors to the installation.
This work is an intimate act by Christina who creates a home for others which can be shared by communities connected to the Barn. For over 25 years the Barn has been a home for performance and storytelling. Christina’s work represents a transference of the artist’s childhood imaginary worlds into an immersive experience to be encountered on our site and re-listened to and relived beyond the life of this commission.
Discover the Gettin’s House Storytelling packs
Each visiting group to Gettin’s House will receive an activity pack to create on site or at home. This links directly to the unique stories told by the artist, of Salt, Redleg, The Kite Competition, The Giddy Gede & the Hard ￼Gede and 'Lament Nae Mair For Me, My Love'. They can be imagined as a talisman signifying the collectively of cultures and communities.
The pack includes:
- A kite-making kit made from plastic bags collected by the artist with instructions on how to make. Also includes offcuts of fabric from Gettin’s House which can be connected as a kite tail.
- Papercut of one of three characters to make shadow puppets to play out the stories and create new ones within the world of the installation.
- Written instructions and links to audio stories
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, each pack will be sealed, visitors can choose to open and handle this during their experience of the installation, or the packs can be taken away, constructed, discussed and played with at home.
Listen to the description of a walk in Barbados with the sounds of the evening as dusk settles, where the mongoose rustles and the grass snakes hiss, where the fig trees matt together on the hillsides to become one mass, hiding entrances to caves and underwater river systems.
Ahead of the installation of Gettin’s House, Christina has created twilight family walks which trace a path through her British and Barbadian heritage. These evening walks are best enjoyed during dusk. As you embark on your sensory walk Christina invites you to consider if your experience of your own familiar landscape changes when walking two paths at the same time.
Gettin’s House family weekend (9 - 11 July 2021)
To mark the opening of Gettin’s House, we are hosting an interactive family weekend with storytelling and activities that explore the themes of the work. ￼￼Join North-East writer and performer Shane Strachan as he shares Doric tales and ballads alongside an exploration of Christina Peake’s Bajan-rooted stories in our Wild Garden on Friday and Saturday.
Whilst outdoor early years practitioner Mandy Tulloch will guide young and old to discover the magic of outdoor play and how to get creative with your natural surroundings on Sunday. Gettin’s House will be open all weekend, tickets include timed entry to the installation, a creative family pack and access to all of the activities.
Book Now - Family Weekend
Watch our interview with artist Christina Peake and Simone Stewart, Head of Creative Programme.
About the Artist
“My art practice draws on individual testimonies and historical narratives to create new worlds. I seek to absorb bodies of knowledge and immerse myself in natural worlds, people, community and place to weave together stories in artworks and engagement programmes.”
Christina Peake read Fine Art at the University of Brighton and later graduated with a MA in Postcolonial Studies from Goldsmiths College. Her practice is research led. It involves fieldwork, primarily focused on communities and the natural environment, and it is grounded in learning, engagement and immersive experience.
Christina has worked in the UK and internationally with different communities such as the Kukama indigenous community in the Peruvian Amazon, ex-offenders and women exiting prostitution and substance misuse with the charity Women at the Well in Kings Cross, London. She is currently a Lead Educator for The Black Curriculum.
Christina seeks to share her stories and receive the stories of others with care, deepening her contribution to communities and the environment.