Thinking about my art talk tomorrow at Arts on Douglas Gallery, I remembered today the movie “Saving Mr. Banks,” a wonderful on-screen portrayal of P.L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins books. It is providing a vision.
In the screen version, one of the opening scenes shows Travers as a girl, a close-up shot of her lying in a field of grass constructing a tiny house out of twigs and grass. She was making a little home. The unfolding of the plot revealed how much she needed a make-believe home, because her real home life was so full of hurt and sadness.
Emma Stone portrays P.L. Travers as an adult during the transformation of her Mary Poppins books into Disney’s well-know musical movie version. It was a heart-wrenching journey for Travers, as her story became everything she did not want it to be. In one poignant scene, she leaves a stressful meeting and retreats to a place outdoors, sits on the grass, and begins to construct a tiny home. A refuge. I was sobbing and sniffling!
The Mary Poppins stories are not autobiographical. But their essence was informed by the author’s life. She took what she had experienced and translated it into her art: children’s stories. A few details were specific. An Aunt who came to visit and take care of her family was a non-nonsense umbrella-carrying woman. Mary Poppins? But, for the most part, the author’s works are a combination of dreams, memories, emotions and her artist’s craft to create a new reality.
This has been my experience in creating the series “Home is What You Remember.” It’s about home. And my experience of home, with an intentional memory of a child’s way of looking at things, has informed the images and the process. While not strictly autobiographical, it reveals realities I know to be true:
Outside and Inside do not always match.
It may or may not be possible to know what’s inside by looking from without.
Homes can be fragile.
People experience home in time: as experiences unfold, and later in memory.
We carry our homes inside us.
The lives of the people in homes are varied, colorful, richly textured.
And, in all of this, I hope to use my artmaking methods and abilities to create realities that are interesting, pleasing to look at and discover, and offer new discoveries over time.
All the works in the series “Home is What You Remember” are on my web site, HERE.
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