I've been posting a lot of my process work in the studio over on my instagram feed this past week. As I noted before, the forms of my new body of work have taken an architectural turn and 'home-y' structures are starting to crop up. I can't help but wonder the reason for these appearances is because I really miss my home, away from Cornwall.
The whole 'not going overboard on colour' challenge is working relatively well for me. I'm still using a lot more colour than Mark initially suggested (I just can't help it) but refining my colour schemes down has led to a greater textural element to my pieces. I invested in some coarse texture gel and have been playing around with creating a more raised finish on my trials.
I recently read an article by Verlyn Klinkenborg about the definition of home and what 'being at home' really means. It really struck a chord with me. I come from a Welsh background and although I don't live there, I still feel very much at home when I visit. I felt, upon my first reading, that I may disagree with Klinkenborg's statement that "everything else is not-home". I feel at home here in Cornwall, with my new group of family-like friends of whom I adore and the course I'm doing which makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world - to find something that makes me feel so alive. I feel at home in Wales; where my grandparents, my uncle and my extended family live. I definitely am home when with my parents and little sister in Bedford - although I feel like my emotional ties to the actual town don't resonate as deep as those I feel for Wales or Cornwall.
Then I read on.
Then I got it. It made sense to me. Home is and will always be, quite frankly, where my loved ones are. At the moment, that's Bedfordshire. However grey and drab and non-aesthetically pleasing as it may be in comparison to where I am now - it's Bedfordshire. Because that's where the people I love live.
Being 'at home' is very different. I feel completely and utterly at home here in Falmouth. Klinkenborg was right. There is a big psychological difference between feeling at home and being home - and I think that's what I want to explore. These 3 places - that hold such a great meaning in my heart, each in their own way - are all 'home' to me. To convey that in my pieces is making the architectural element all the more pleasing. Almost addressing that question: what makes a house a home? Well, the people who inhabit it. What makes a town a home? Probably very much the same thing - the people, the experiences.
I discovered the Welsh word 'Hiraeth' the other day. It has no direct English translation but in essence has a very similar meaning to the Portuguese word saudade. The nostalgia and longing to return to a place that feels like home. The only other word that means the same thing is the Cornish word 'hireth'. With Cornwall and Wales both having Celtic roots, my sense of being at home here feels stronger still. How I will untangle these thoughts and transfer them onto paper is something I'm still piecing together in my mind - but hopefully something so important and dear that the work produced will feel sincere and genuine.