Deeply rooted in our homes are memories… histories…stories… (Video below)
This work has recently been completed. I finished up the binding and backing. This gave me a chance to look at it again and remember some of what I thought about as I was creating it.
I am interested in combining realities. First in this piece is the combining of photographic reality with patterned monotypes. The photo transfer appears inside the house (the closeups of twigs) and also in the underground section (the pattern of water). I created patterns of hand-printed fabrics to be a visual metaphor for the richness and complexity of all that’s gone before.
The use of the spatial plane has also been mixed up a bit in this work. This functions in one sense as a landscape; there is a horizon line and the house has suggestions of perspective. At the same time, it’s a flat plane, not a realistic foreground-background. I view these roots and all the underground patterns like a cut-away view, as if we took a vertical slice of reality and could see above and below at the same time. Yellow sky above. Patterned blue textures below.
This cutaway view then also suggests the passage of time. The roots are not reaching down into a static moment now. They are reaching into all the history and story that compromise the home.
I remember that I started this work when I needed an emotional respite. Just before this, I had created a work that is quite chaotic. Trees grow up and uproot homes and the mood is dark, like a fairy tale story. I felt the need for a new palette and was drawn to thee colors as a soothing change. But, as it developed, I began to see that the complexity of the patterns created an opening to more meaning. Some family histories are warm and cherished. Some entail secrets and hurts. The exact nature of the past is not defined at in this work.
Like real life… It’s complicated.
Here’s a video with closeups and some insights into the work in progress.