Beyond the material and physical aspect, understanding of home lies in the intersection of socially accepted, romanticized notions as a safe, comforting and nurturing shelter with the diverse subjective experiences that can entail alienation, anxiety and stress. Alison Blunt and Robyn Dowling (2006) develop a concept of home through critical geography to draw out the relation between the place of home with, scale, identity and power that exists within the space (pp. 2-3). This theoretical concept contains a wide and multifaceted view where the architecture of the place intersects with emotional, experiential, and socio-cultural significance. I started to refine the concept of home and the anxiety of domestic space by focusing on the pivotal moment in which the home environment changes from a supportive space to a hostile one. That moment is irreversible; it marks the concept of home forever. The book that sparked this idea was “Meeting the Universe Halfway: quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning” by Karen Barad. This book starts with the discovery of the nuclear bomb and how the strive for learning and understanding the universe can be potentially used as a destructive force.
The marks that are created on the surface of the wood are parallel to the events that the human body experiences. Similar to a piece of wood that is slowly shaped to a form through carving, the minds of individuals are being shaped by their environment. Carving wood, therefore, resembles a pivotal moment of change. Carving the medium of wood is an irreversible process.
The moment that a chisel takes off part of wood becomes one of the most important parts of my work. While before this I was creating dysfunctional household objects, after thinking about “the moment of change” and the permanent mark, I started to think about texture and how marks on the surface communicate emotions and spark sensation.
During the 6 months of working on this project, I was able to add new materials such as rubber and fabric to the work. I was able to spend time and learn new techniques such as sewing. Since this project focuses on the idea of violence in domestic space, the fabric became an important medium to communicate the vulnerability of the body. The dress I made from a sewing pattern has changed into a form that resembles the body. Barely hanging on to the chair, the dress is at the mercy of the structure that supports it.
This work was supported by BC Arts Council and the Province of British Columbia, through Project Assistant Grant 2022
Blunt, A., & Dowling, R. (2006). Home. New York, NY: Routledge.
Murrani, S. (2020). Contingency and plasticity: The dialectical re-construction of the concept of home in forced displacement. Culture and Psychology. 26(2). pp. 173-186.