Welcome to A Conversation with Art
Today’s theme is home.
Look at that sun-lit face, it says I’m content, I’m here, and I’m home. We are starting with looking at a photograph that captures a fleeting moment, a warm naturally lit face that talks to me, not with words but with her expression, the slight tilt of her face upward, the comfortable posture, her eyes gently closed. I believe she’s saying, it’s me and I’m home.
Let’s have a conversation. The photographer worked on a “from home series” of photographs taken on the East side of Buffalo. The side of the house in the background frames the portrait of the girl in such a way it gives a sense of pleasure at the moment, life is good.
But when you are away from home, life can be different and memories of home become a significant part of life. This gentleman is looking out a window, he has a closed book beside himself, he’s still, holding his head up, sturdy, but as his head, his thoughts might be heavy. What does he see? Is it a city that is changing? Perhaps a view from the past, a memory? Or maybe the gentleman is reflecting upon his childhood home.
Let’s have a conversation. I already gave a clue to help read the artwork, its title, Away From Home. The artist was raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, and studied architecture and engineering. He is known for his prints depicting early scenes of his boyhood, his memories, and his impressions of life.
The artist we just looked at is a printmaker, this work is also a print but the scene is quite different. I only see the silhouette of two houses, both small in size looking like a child’s drawing of a house filled in. The background texture is from the process of the printmaking technique. It makes the houses look like they are surrounded by a whisp of turbulence.
Let’s have a conversation. The houses are placed side by side in the middle of the work. The artist titled the work, Eyes Home. Who’re eyes? Do eyes, like family members we were brought up with, follow us as we leave the home and make our own home? Are the eyes of the home always watching?
I notice an older middle-aged woman sitting quietly in a room. The bookshelves look like they used to be filled and are now being sorted through, what to save and what to leave, or pass on to another. The image is a still from a film. The artwork is an installation, this is just a small part of the work. It captures a moment of reflection, inner thoughts of times gone by.
Let’s have a conversation. This is the artist’s mother. The artist references her childhood home in Starnberg, Bavaria. She grew up in an all-female household with her mother and three opinionated and strong-willed sisters. The artist is referencing her memories of home. The installation shows difficult scenarios that unfold, the decision to sell the childhood home and help transition a parent to assisted living. How do we keep home while we can’t live in our home? What do we decide to hold on to?
A metaphor to keep home with us can be observed in this drawing. It’s the interior of a home with, Three Doorways, as the title emphasizes. One door leads to a room with furniture and a closed door, another to a bedroom, and the central part of the composition leads us upstairs, or symbolically, to our own home. Our own space to dream.
Let’s have a conversation. The artist was very talented as a child, his mother noticed this and converted the attic into a bedroom for him to draw, think, and create. The attic had a skylight that brought in natural light. His space became his own home away from home.