I am doing a lot of thinking and research into concepts around home and place and it is helping with my homesickness. The other week when I started drawing Dutch houses I was swamped with memories of being a teenager and visiting my Dad in a Holland.
I came up with a list of words
Home as place
locus in space
self and self identity ,
social an cultural unit
And I decided to do some typography, drawing letters is much less evocative had to concentrate on the shapes and I didn’t have the same emotive or embodied response. I need to add some colour and correct my spelling mistake!
I messed about with my iPhone Apps
The Diana app, blender, reflection and Snapseed to be precise
I am reading up on research to anchor my writing about ‘Home’ Oswald and Whal 2005 seems a good place to start. I have only got to page 11…….
There are fab statements and quotes like ” the home is an extension of self through place ( Fuhurer and kaiser 1992)
Home is a sense of community , of being involved with and tied to a geographically based social group – (Feldman 1996 p, 462)
Home is Identity related aspects of space ( Altman and Low1992)
Home/ place vocabulary
Locus in space
Social cultural unit
I added the last one as a protest to all the positive embodiment created by the rest if the list
This is making me think about our move in a different way. I hurt my feet twice in the first 6 months we were in Edinburgh. Jon didn’t move up with me , we had rented out our house, but his contract hadn’t finished. So for 3 weeks I found my self driven to acquaint my self with the environment .It was big, noisy beautiful and so different from Abingdon. I walked and walked and walked. I lost weight and got to know my immediate location. Then a couple of days before Jon arrived I got plantar fasciitis in my right foot, and in December bored with wearing trainers everyday I walked up the hill into Edinburgh in 2 inch heels …….
Suddenly my world of Georgian terraces and art galleries, second hand shops and bagpipes, got reduced to a small flat up 4 flights of stairs
Part of me thinks – almost a year in, that this must have partially been an unconscious rebellion over the move. Jon arrived, so I was safe and didn’t need to explore any more or set up house
December and Edinburgh foot was more serious, maybe I needed to retreat and consolidate? We had bought a flat and I was going ‘home’ for 10 days, I was missing everybody and feeling displaced and the honey moon period had worn off …..
Abingdon February : I am sitting at some red lights, I have sat here umpteen times over the last 25 years. Pub on the left, tall trees, bus stops on either side of the road.
I am unable to convince my self for a couple of seconds that I have moved to Edinburgh or that any of the last 6 months have happened.
Edinburgh June : it’s now almost a year now since we moved , I am sitting in my sun flooded kitchen on my grey sofa, surrounded by crotchet and different coloured wool. I am burning apricot jam, because my attention has been caught by thoughts , moments of home
I was excited to recognise Edinburgh today from the airplane window, I cracked the DLR and had an easy journey with no delays. For the first time, I wished I had booked a window seat, it was sunny, the pentland hills and the bridges across the Forth looked familiar and gorgeous in the sunshine.
Travelling back into Edinburgh at 5-6pm it is very busy and summer has arrived ( for the present) there are so many people out, hundreds of them lining the road on both sides! Mainly female, all ages …… All is revealed One direction have come to town.
Been to see my daughters degree show, there was a fab selection of stuff. She was doing ‘photography’, but there was all sorts of formats, from collections of portraits, video, multiple screens, photos printed on different surfaces and set in latex ,
I particularly liked a mother and daughter series, where the daughter had recreated some old pictures of her mother using herself as a model and created new ones where they were dressed in the same clothes in the same location. I don’t know if it is because my daughter is the same age but it was really evocative for me ( Hannah Burton-Mary)
Another set of images I liked were about the narrative of a homeless person who came to London and where he lived in a derelict council flat. The pictures were different sizes and set in latex blocks. Other images were of doors, windows and walks, they were ripped and layered and coloured in dead yellows, greys and blacks. There was echoes of standing stones and an ethereal quality that was belied by the subject matter. ( Zoe Ayre- a growing concern )
I am taking a sort of sabbatical this year. Since moving up to Edinburgh I am taking work teaching art in Adult Education, but not actively looking for full time paid work. I have been blogging ( a bit) making friends on Instagram, skyping with my Oxfordshire friends and working on several journals.
One is called the documented life project. Every week on a Sunday we get a prompt to act as inspiration. I have been participating since January.
Last week’s prompt was ‘add a house’ , one of my othe projects is a friendship journal where me make pages for other people on a theme. ‘SweetCaroline’ wanted a Dutch theme. After drawing my Georgian flat I have been itchy to draw more houses. In the 1970’s my biological Father moved to Holland for work. My sister and I visited several times and I remembered loving the funky architecture and old boat designs.
I found some images and started drawing. After my work with objects last year I was still surprised at how evocative looking at images on Google and drawing the houses could be . Memories flooded back, Dad and my stepmom, rented a tall house like these in Den Haag. I remember visiting and the stench of dog pooh!
The houses were so tall It felt like there were floors that they didn’t use.
I always liked the homes that my Dad and Phylly made. They moved so many times( I realise now) they probably travelled light, but I loved the spaces they created, light and white, cream accessories plants …. dad was a civil engineer, I don’t know if he had any influence on what they chose , until this minute I always assumed it was my stepmother…….
I am on the bus to the airport and there are some Dutch people talking over the way, I am amused.