Narelle Jubelin | The Housing Question | Penrith Regional Gallery, 2019 | Helen Grace, Sherre DeLys, Narelle Jubelin | curated by Julie Ewington

The Housing Question explores housing, safety and security. Starting from Australia, where Helen Grace lives, and Spain, where Narelle Jubelin is based, the exhibition examines intimate experiences of home, then opens out to embrace the complex conditions of the contemporary world. The Housing Question takes its title from Friedrich Engles’s seminal 1872 texts addressing severe housing shortages in his native Germany. After nearly 150 years, this question remains pressing today: what are basic human rights to secure and affordable housing? What are one’s rights to housing when one is displaced, as millions of people are today?

Grace and Jubelin’s new video, with sound by Sherre Delys, focuses on two important modernist homes: Harry and Penelope Seidlers’ house in Sydney (1967) and Casa Huarte (1962) in Madrid by José Antonio Corrales and Ramón Vázquez Molezún. Despite their different contexts, the Australian and Spanish architects shared aspirations to help create more equitable societies through building excellent and widely available mass housing.

Rich in historical documentation and intimate footage of both houses, The Housing Question connects personal and emotional ideas about house and home with broad social issues. Nested in works thinking through different experiences of home, across all the spaces of Penrith Regional Gallery, this is an important contribution to global dialogues on these urgent questions.