Discovering this abandoned house in South Carolina was an art inspiration. I blogged about in January, writing that the experience of finding this spot was a gift discovered by taking the long way, the off-the-highway path driving home to Florida.
Since then the house stayed on my mind. A work-in-progress in the studio now is beginning to take the images and create a new reality. (Video below in this blog post.)
What was so compelling, standing there by the house, was looking through the door and the broken windows and seeing trees and vines growing up inside the house, filling it. In a strange way, although the growth filled the space, it emphasized the emptiness. Homes are expected to hold people and life, not overgrown vines.
What interested me was this feeling of unreality. Instead of depicting the house realistically as we discovered it, I wanted to translate it into a dream-like memory.
Photos of the paint-peeled door and the overgrown windows have been transferred onto muslin. (I use a gel medium transfer from a laser color printout, pieced together to fill the size I need. These are tedious, but I like the final effect.)
The photographic images are being placed in a childlike, two-dimensional house shape, along with other fabrics, colors and textures. I will be adding tree forms behind to recreate the sense of loneliness the place held for me.
As I work on all the pieces in my “Home is what you Remember” series, I am trying to listen. To the images. To the memories. To what they stir inside me.
What happens when the people leave the house?
Something else will grow there.
You can watch the process unfold in this video.
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