Craig Barnes and the Futuro house

The backstory

Artist Craig Barnes first saw the Futuro house as a child whilst visiting family in South Africa. Over the years he revisited it time and time again, dreaming of one day owning such a magnificently odd construction. In April 2013, an unexpected chain of events led Craig to buy the Futuro house of his dreams. However once the excitement had worn off, reality set in. He'd just agreed to buy a fibreglass house... in South Africa, and he was due to be flying home to the UK the next day.

At the time Craig didn't have a screwdriver to his name, nor any idea of where to start. And so began five frantic days and sleepless nights  deconstructing the Futuro and working out how to get it back to the UK. Miraculously, the plan worked. A two-month wait followed, spent worrying whether the delicate house would survive the 12,000 mile journey by sea, followed by ironing out complications and stressing about where one stores a spaceship once it arrives

Safely in the UK, the Futuro house was transported to Herefordshire, where it was initially stored in pieces in a former WW2 bomb factory whilst the best way to approach restoring it was decided. Relocated to a new workshop in late 2013, restoration began in earnest in January 2014. As the year went on the pace quickened, as more and more people became involved in the journey to restore the Futuro back to its former glory.

The restoration process

Over ten months the Futuro house (formerly resident in Port Alfred, South Africa) was transformed from a weary wreck, showing signs of it being a 42-year old building that had been sat in the blazing African for most of that time, into a object ready to face the future once more.

Bright new beginnings

A long journey that witnessed the transporting of four tons of fiberglass a distance of 60,000 miles, and the overcoming of a long list of hurdles in an 18 month-long restoration process, culminated in the fully refurbished Futuro being exhibited at Matt’s Gallery in east London from 12th October – 14th December 2014 as part of the prestigious Revolver II exhibition.

Futuro no. 022, one of only approximately 80 ever produced, stood proudly on the gallery’s 5th floor roof and played host to Barnes’ art project Centre for Remote Possibilities, acting as a venue for talks, discussions, lectures, exhibitions and screenings.

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