Homekeeping (2020)
  • Honor Vincent | London

  • Homekeeping
  • Homekeeping (2020)
  • Honor Vincent | London
  • The flat is coming to dawn. The wall, whose voices slipped back to a whisper in the cold hours, warms itself to a hum, faltering a little as it wakes like the tuning of a radio. The bookshelves grow amber and the chest of drawers picks up its dusty scent. Essences arrange themselves.

    Homekeeping is a text where quiet encounters within the home become conductors for discussions on sickness, vegetal time, nonhuman connection, care, language, and art making. Drawing on ideas of autofiction and ‘autotheory’ (Preciado, 2008), in Homekeeping I played with a short story format and a semi-fictional voice to negotiate the relationship between self and habitat. I was drawn by the ways in which the self becomes entangled in networks of the non-human environment. The initial external site of inquiry, which appears only briefly in the text as ‘scrap of land behind the building’, itself became ensnared, disintegrating into the entangled networks of language, body, plant, and ‘thing’. In this respect the work is indebted to the entanglements around ‘what is discourse?’ and ‘what is the material world?’ presented by new materialism (Barad, Braidotti, Grosz, Bennett, Kirby, DeLanda). Here, in Homekeeping, the embodied and the semiotic co-constitute each other. 

    Homekeeping moves around the idea of breath. The narrative is a process of tuning into the ‘anima,’ the breath, soul or life, of the protagonist’s surroundings: listening to what animates the nonhuman world. Yet this is never a straightforward, one-way movement from self to surroundings, or a simple loss of ego. The location of breath in the text is ever changing and overlapping. The ‘life’ of the protagonist becomes multiple, (broken down and challenged by diabetes, food, imagination) and likewise the ‘breath’ of the surroundings that she begins to tune into (the walls, the soil) reveals itself to be informed and changed by her own. The process of making itself, enacted within the text in a series of ekphrastic ‘experiments,’ also produces its own ‘anima’, playing into this inter-connected field of breath and complicating the notion of artistic agency.


    Honor Vincent is a writer and student midwife based in London. She has a BA in English literature from the University of Oxford and has completed an MA in Architectural History at the Bartlett, University College London, where she was introduced to site-writing through the Critical Spatial Practice: Site-Writing module. Her work often negotiates the porous relationship between self and habitat. It speaks also to her personal experiences of illness and care, thinking through the complicated relationships between thought and the body. Her writing practice has been nourished by her interdisciplinary background, and acts as a way in which to think through and enfold ways of thinking and being. Honor hopes that this practice will continue to support her thinking as she begins training as a midwife at Kings College London in September 2021.


    This piece was written as part of the Critical Spatial Practice: Site-Writing module, and that mode of thinking and making became and continues to be instrumental to my writing practice. For me, it offered a playfulness to hold disparate strands of thought and observation in conversation. Considering the interconnectedness of my embodied experience and the histories and physicality of the spaces I live in has become a key focus to my writing. For me, homing in on language, here through etymology, became a mode to offer up these connections while still allowing space for their ambiguities.

    Plant, non-human, body, home, sewing, language


    Jane Bennet, Vibrant Matter, (North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2010).

    Maggie Nelson, Bluets, (Seattle: Wave Books, 2009).

    Zoe Leonard, Strange Fruits, (1992-97), made in United States, North and Central America 

    Other projects
  • Signal/Noise: Ambient Text in the Urban Landscape (ongoing project)
  • Site Stories: explorations of urban spaces through drawing and animation (25–29 April 2022)
  • Rainbow Palace, Bergen, Norway (March 2022)
  •  Acanthus, (March 2022)
  • Unter der Hohen Brücke. 
digging in a ditch, writing for a place 
  • ‘Reading-writing alongside HALL08,’ HALL08 (2021)
  • Nothingness Beyond Blossom (2021)
  • Angelo Ciccaglione, ‘The back of the dust-machine, where the visitors pour the dust in,’ Rotterdam (2021)
    The Deposition of Dust (July 2021)
  • Skye Edge (April 2021)
  • Corvid-19 (15 March 2021)
  • 1_5
    Glòries_(Eixample). A dispositive for very slow aesthetic observation, (January 2021 –)
  • As Lightning to the Children Eased (January 2021)
  • Station F (October 2020)
  • It’s Just a Matter of Time (2020)
  • 1
    Inscription: the Journal of Material Text – Theory, Practice, History,
    issue # 1: ‘beginnings,’ (2020)
  • Homekeeping-image_sml
    Homekeeping (2020)
  • City Embers (2020)
  • Between Our Words I will Trace Your Presence (February 2020)
  • What Remains (2019)
  • Situated Writing as Theory and Method (2019)
  • Parts Apart Read Together (2019)
  • Fields of Awareness, (2019, 3min 18 secs)
  • A Non-Aligned Narrative in and Around KSEVT, (2019)
  • 21 Orientations: An Atlas of Geographic Promiscuity (2019)
  • The Windowless Hotel Room (2018)
  • Spaces of Grief (2018)
  • Soft Landing (2018)
  • Shared Remains (April 2018)
  • Poetic Water Boundaries: towards a possible borderless sea, (2018)
  • Metropolitan Salem, Liuerpul (9 June – 18 August 2018)
  • Things Come Apart (21 – 24 March 2018)
  • Learn to Read Differently (2018)
  • Il Balcone. A site-writing performance (2018)
  • History begins with the vanity of kings (2018)
  • Dear Mr. Jung: Inhabiting Carl Jung’s ‘The Red Book’ (May 2018)
  • A Lunar Perspective, (2018-2020)
  • Heaton Hall: A Palimpsest (2017)
  • Location (+) (2017)
  • There’s Sand in My Infinity Pool (2017)
  • Talking Quilts (April 2017)
  • fifteen ways to cross the desert (2017)
  • Between Landscape and Confinement: Situating the Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft (2017)
  • Agency at the threshold, (2017)
  • A Ficto-Historical Theory of the London Underground (2017)
  • The Glorious Tomb to the Memory of Nothing (2016)
  • The Arrival’s Reader; A Visual Literary Criticism on The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2016)
  • Reading as Art (27 August-19 November 2016)
  • Re: development (London: Silent Grid, 2016)
  • Kjemikerens død [The Death of the Chemist] (23 – 26 May 2016)
  • Kingsland High Street (2016)
  • Foray in a Modern Reserve: An Impounding Portrait of Landuse (2016 – 2018)
  • Fall of the Derwent (2016)
  • Away from Home – Home from Away (April 2016)
  • Penguin Pool (2015)
  • Geography Lessons: Liberian Landmarks 1953-2013 (2015)
  • Women’s Anarchist Nuisance Café (2014)
  • The Writing on the Wall (after Rembrandt) (2014)
  • The Italic I (2014)
  • Designing Architecture as a Performing-Ground (2014)
  • Urban Literacy (2013/2014/2016)
  • The Disappearance: Manfredo Tafuri’s The Sphere and the Labyrinth (April 2013)
  • Folded Ground: Escape from Cape Town (2013)
  • Phantom Railings (2012 – 2017)
  • In The Emptiness Between Them (2012)
  • 10/08/12 (multispecies event) (2012)
  • An Arcades Project (2011)
  • Tideline (2010-2012)
  • The Museum of Breath (2010)
  • Slab (2010)
  • One wound. Two wounds. The body as site for writing (2010)
  • The Fluid Pavement and Other Stories on Growing Old (2006)
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