This piece is titled "White House". In 1963, Veronica White built a modest, three bedroom, high-set timber home in Brisbane's leafy west where, as a single mother, she raised four young boys. We don't know what happened to Mr White. We never thought it polite to ask. The boys grew and went on to have families of their own and Veronica remained in the family home until finally, in late 2003, she sold the property to us.
By all accounts, Veronica was possibly the nicest neighbour anyone could ever hope to have. There are many residents still living in our area who built here at the beginning and we've discovered that simply by mentioning her name, they know instantly where we live and without exception inform us what an amazing woman she is. Also without exception, they go on to relate stories of the wild parties she often threw in this house for the whole neighbourhood.
In the dirt under and around our house, there is much evidence of the White family's forty years of occupancy. Some are well loved toys, parts from old bicycles and broken hand tools. Others are pieces of rubbish, probably tossed out the kitchen window, which never quite made it to the garbage bin. All of them are treasures.
I have made a plaster casting from the face of a brick found on the site, left over from the original construction, and used it as part of a mould to set a number of these items into clear resin. Through the stories related to us by others, these items take on a special significance, embodying the sense of a life lived in joy, despite the unspoken hardships that no doubt would have been present in the circumstances.