[be]LONGING – 2014-2015

After being stashed away for many years, a scrap of wallpaper from my first bedroom emerged as a visual and conceptual catalyst for this body of work. Its pattern appears on the paper panels that suggest an interior space. Observations of my own relationship with this artifact, however, act to unite the ideas presented. Considering my connection with this piece of autobiographical ephemera led to the development of visual metaphor. Through carefully chosen iconography, industrial materials and domestic craft processes, these objects voice a delicate balance. This work is a reckoning between the necessity of constant adaptation and the longing for stability.

The graphic image of the house, with its sturdy rectangle topped by a triangle, ostensibly reduces a complicated sensation to simple geometry. The house symbol stands for home, which is less an architectural structure than it is a messy bramble of ideas and emotions. This absurdly reductive symbol is essential in this work because it points to the intangible nature of domestic stability. Internal connections to security are easily as important as physical connections to place. 
Domestic objects and processes are powerful markers which activate sensations of comfort and safety. One needs only a glimpse of a dollhouse, an embroidery hoop or a piece of plain woven fabric to feel an internal sense of being-at-home. The objects are rooted in domesticity. Fiber art processes, similarly, produce strong connections. Baskets, toys and fabrics have been made for millennia in homes around the globe. They are constructed with equal parts urgency and love, with materials that are close at hand. Internal sensations activated by these objects embody home more than any house ever could.

There is an uneasy space between the longing for stability and the need to remain light, mobile and responsive to change. This work expresses that anxiety by pairing symbols of domesticity with those of transience. One may long for the bassinet to feel firmly grounded, but when made from moving blankets and perched precariously on a ladder, it occupies an uncanny territory. The desire to build comfort on sturdy foundations is not gone, but it is reshaped to fit a life on the move. Construction and shipping materials conspire in this work to redefine the ideal of Home Sweet Home. While the true state of belonging is in constant progress, it is simultaneously secure in its connection to the internal space of home.