Yolande Mutale is an incredibly talented illustrator and printmaker from Brighton. She’s also the first creative to work on our ‘This Is Our Home’ project - a 12-month collaboration which invites artists to riff on familiar estate agent signage, covering the signs with their own stories of home as an act of joyful protest. You can read more about ‘This Is Our Home’ here.

Yolande created an amazing piece, called, ‘Five Sticks of Corn on the Cob and a Hug’. It was inspired by the smells and sounds of her dad’s Zimbabwean cooking which permeated the house every weekend. We installed the sign outside Yolande’s childhood home on Hanover Street in Brighton.

Five Sticks of Corn on the Cob and a Hug

We sat down with Yolande for a chat about the ways art and home intersect: 

What does home mean to you? 

To me, home is not just a place that feels familiar, but a place that can easily conjure up memories and feelings. A place that feels warm and joyful, a place to feel at ease. 

Describe the home where you grew up in three words. 

Loud, warm, and creative.

What does community mean to you? 

To me, community is about having great people around you. Growing up on my street, there was very much a community feeling. There was always someone's house you could call round to if you needed an egg or have a chat with the elderly woman across the street, Bebe.  

How did the place where you grew up impact your development as an artist? 

My mum is an artist, so I was massively inspired by her. She always had a massive collection of amazing books I would spend hours looking through and copying the images out of.  

Who or what inspires you creatively? 

From the people I walk past on the street to a random scribble on the back of the bus seat, I generally draw inspiration from everything around me. I like to take pictures of literally everything, just a quick snap on my phone that I like to refer back to. However, this has resulted in my phone having over 50 thousand photos on! 

What's your favourite form of joyful protest? 

I love the way people put time and effort into creating witty or humorous placards at protests. They can make a comment on a serious subject but also make you chuckle in one simple sign. 

Were you at all skeptical about working on a project for a mortgage company? 

I was at first, however, I felt reassured after doing some research about Habito. 

Is home-ownership important to you? 

Yes, I think everyone should be able to own a home no matter who you are.

You can check out more of Yolande’s work on her website.