I’ve been asked recently why I call my home ‘The Shadow Gallery’. First off, I like to read graphic novels, and I am a big Alan Moore fan. V for Vendetta is a hugely important book to me. It was the first ‘serious’ graphic novel I read, and was lent to 16 year old me by a very dear (and long, long, lost) friend. I put off reading it for a long time, and then hungrily consumed the whole tome in two days. There is a lot to fall in love with. Let’s take all the political overtones out (tricky, I know) and focus on V and Evey.
They both grow so much in the time that they’re together, and find themselves capable of things that they couldn’t conceive of being able to do. V is always careful to present as an idea behind the mask, and never as a person. That always hit me incredibly hard – that our bodies are just the conduit for our will, and our identities exist to some extent for the benefit of others. V’s existentialism aside, the story largely takes place in The Shadow Gallery – a labyrinthine underground compound at least partially constructed in Victoria Underground Station after it had been abandoned. The Gallery was built by V and contains censored art, music and film. There are flowers and beauty and it’s a safe place for V both psychologically and physically. It is V’s home. V takes Evey in to this fantastic space unapologetically.
My home is my safe place. It is calm, it is ordered, it has everything I need. If the world is burning, it’s where I want to be. Like V, my home is a glimpse into my psyche, and I make no apologies. My home is there to please me and my family, and fit our exact needs. It doesn’t exist to please anyone else. It is not censored. It is The Shadow Gallery. It is my home. Do you like it? I built it myself you know.