What and where is home?
Is our home a place of refuge from the outside world?
But what if the world was our home, where is the refuge then?
‘A home does not simply specify where you live; it can also signify who you are (socially, economically, sexually, ethnically) and where you ‘belong’ (geographically, culturally). And a house or a dwelling is full of the occupant’s corporeality, of sleeping, eating, loving: of its existence as a home. Moreover, a house contains evidence of the intimate relationship between space and time. While the space of the constructed building may shelter people or families over long periods of time, the evidence of more transitory individual lives is visible in traces in and on the building and its furniture. These ‘traces’ may take the form of damage, dirt, dust, decorations, scratches, repairs and so on.’
(Extract from Gill Perry ‘Dream houses: installations and the home’ in Gill Perry and Paul Wood (eds.), Themes in Contemporary Art, Yale University Press in association with the Open University, New Haven and London, 2004)
Applying this idea of home, as described above in the quote from Gill Perry’s ‘Dream Houses: Installations and the Home’, but to the Earth, rather than a building, invites a new perspective on our custodial duties.
The Earth is home not only to us but also to many other organisms – it provides the right elements: atmosphere, temperature, sustenance and time, for us to prosper. Sustaining a world with a sense of equilibrium towards these fundamentals and appreciating the interconnectedness of them all is vital for our home to flourish.
One of my new sculptures ‘Home: 3 bed semi’ is created from three rusty beds I found washed up on the beach. The waves had ravaged the upholstery leaving a tangled web of rusting and flaking metal armatures. Salvaged, the beds were crushed and compacted into a cuboid by a baling machine normally used for condensing old metal cans into bales ready for recycling. The spirit of the springs, now largely tamed, was further restrained to prevent the metal’s memory returning.
Five fragile birds nests rescued from local hedges in mid-winter adorn the ‘bed’ and remind us that a shelter is temporary if not nurtured.
The coming into being of ‘Home: 3 bed semi’.