Some time ago, when I was thinking about what to do next, I had the idea of working about the subject of 'HOME'. It started with me wondering how people who live in a new country feel about home. Do they still consider the country they were born in as their home? Or do they feel home in their new place? What does home mean at all?
Here are my initial thoughts:
What does HOME mean?
1. Home can mean environmental and cultural experiences and their impact on our being, our perception, our way of thinking, our behaviour and our relationships.
2 .It can mean a place where our needs are met, from the most basic ones, like shelter and food to love and security.
3. It can mean memories and fantasies which influence our present being.
4. It can mean a sense of identity, belonging, from a small circle like family and friends to town, country, religion, culture, earth.
I found some answers from people who were asked what home means for them:
“Anywhere my kids are.”
“Where I can be naked, both emotionally and physically”.
“Anywhere my husband is. “You’re My Home” is an old Billy Joel song, and that is what is engraved on the inside of his wedding band. The lyrics are “I’ll never be a stranger, and I’ll never be alone. Wherever we’re together, that’s my home.” After 12 years and two kids, it’s still true.”
“Home isn’t a place; it’s a feeling.”
“A place where I can be 100 percent me. “
“The smell of my mother’s perfume. Even though we live 3,000 miles apart, if I walk down the street and someone is wearing it, I immediately feel like I’m home.”
“Home means sanctuary.”
“Home is where I can take off my bra”.
" Home means predictability in an uncertain world"
“Home is my soft place to land.”
“Home is the place where you feel in control and properly oriented in space and time; it is a predictable and secure place. In the words of poet Robert Frost, "Home is the place that, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." In short, “home” is the primary connection between you and the rest of the world.”
What I noticed when I read these answers, was the fact that apparently ‘home’ seems to be another word for ‘happy place’! But I would like to point out, that that’s is not always the case. There is a ‘dark’ side of home too. What about ‘homes’ which are associated with violence, abuse, addiction, exploitation and chaos? I don’t want us to forget those aspects and I think it would be interesting, if we are brave enough, to explore those aspects as well.
I asked a few fellow artists if they would be interested in such a project and I got 20 positive answers.
Since then we have met twice to discuss the possibilities of exhibitions, explore about suitable venues, talk about our ideas about home and even thought about a collaboration with on of the prisons on Portland.
These are my personal ideas so far: I would like to explore the 'dark side of home' a little bit more. I bought a dolls house and will put a different scene of dark aspects of home in every room.
Here is one example
I also took some black and white photos of Portland, the place I live and consider my home and embroidered on them.
I have some more ideas, but they are secret for now!