I am continuing to add work to this project, and as more pieces are developed, you will find them documented here.
Please scroll down for slideshows.
NEST considers the human penchant for investing objects in the material world with emotional resonance – most specifically, the tension (and difference) between the reality of specific objects and what they may signify psychologically or emotionally to people.
Gaston Bachelard observes that
“A nest-house is never young. … For not only do we come back to it, but we dream of coming back to it, the way a bird comes back to it, or a lamb to the fold. This sign of return marks an infinite number of daydreams, for the reason that human returning takes place in the great rhythm of human life, a rhythm that reaches back across the years and, through the dream, combats all absence.”
But while this analysis offers some useful insights and starting points, I also found it deeply lacking, as it assumes that the association between the ideas ‘nest’and ‘home’ would be consistently positive. This raised a second potential field of inquiry for me … .
What if those objects are for the most part gone?
What if those childhood narratives have been called into question as unverifiable, or are suspect in some way? What if that sense of security (of any sort: emotional, physical) within the primal nest held no guarantee; what if it was a contingent thing, qualified or tenuous in some way?
How do these other possibilities disrupt the understanding of the nest as refuge and haven, home for the heart and body … and what effect does this have on the way we construct our self-story through the filters of memory, and in relation to the assumptions inherent in the social discourse of race and class and gender?
As a means of addressing these questions, NEST considers the tension (and variance/difference) between the reality of specific objects, and what they may signify psychologically or emotionally to people. A such, this body of work is a series of gestures toward re-imagining the relationship between people and these things, toward understanding the connections between the process of making and the process of recognition.
The images below show the work developed for NEST, during my tenure as the Artist In Residence for Harcourt House Artist-Run Centre for 2012, including some views of the work installed in the gallery for exhibition October 18 – November 24, 2012.
Work from this series is part of a three-person exhibition called AT ODDS, on view at the Art Gallery of St. Albert from 6 February – 1 March 2014. A few images from the Opening Reception below.