Home

Familiar homes, exotic homes, homes underwater and homes in space: Carson Ellis takes us on a tour of these and many other homes in this stunning picturebook. Every page opening is a surprise and a delight, and even after many viewings, this panoply of dwelling places continues to enthrall and intrigue the viewer. The written text is spare, leaving Ellis’s assured brushwork in ink and gouache to show the possibilities, and the improbabilities, for a place called home. 

The first opening shows a conventional house perched on a country hillside with smoke trailing upwards from a tall chimney stack, then the next scene is urban and crowded with detail, including a blue-rimmed tea-cup in a window. Smoking chimneys and the tea-cup are linking devices that carry through many of the pages, giving something to watch out for, and to talk about – looking at Home in company adds to the enjoyment. 

Towards the end we move from seeing homes from outside to interiors, ending up in an artist’s studio, right back where we started. For, of course, the first house viewed from the outside is the home of Carson Ellis, whom we glimpsed earlier in silhouette, peeping out of a window. Now we see her at work creating that opening landscape in a room populated by many of the artefacts that cropped up in homes throughout this glorious piece of book-creation.