Several years ago, I was traveling frequently to Europe. As this went on for quite some time, I found living out of suitcases very disorienting and began to question my basic assumptions about the meaning of “home.” In my experience, we generally regard, or like to think of home as someplace fixed and permanent, safe, and private. But as I set up a makeshift home in each hotel room, I was experiencing the exact opposite of those qualities. Instead I felt mobile, transient, vulnerable, and public.
This series of work, “Thin Walls,” explores those dichotomies. The title refers to the porosity of our houses. These structures allow a lot of the outside world in, whether desired or not. And, conversely, we expose some of our private inner lives to the larger outside world. Sometimes this is intentional, other times not.
This work grows out of three core points. One, as explained above, is my personal set of emotional constructs regarding the nature of home. A second focus that evolved is the physical and historical relationship of home to the land upon which it is built. What happens to the natural world when we build our homes in a particular location? And lastly, I’m exploring the formal constructs surrounding the house as object. These are the issues such as opacity v. transparency, form, the siting of the structure to the land, etc.
In my practice, as I develop sketches for the work, I digitally collage found images and merge them with my initial hand drawings. This finished sketch is projected onto the panel for painting. That layering and collage process comes through in the final work. The virtual building of the images in this process mirrors the actual physical building of a structure in a landscape.