where is home?

Barbara Dean

it’s my desire to unify the space, though not the space a painter would -
- though maybe a space the painter would -
I mean to unify the space here…
(places hand on part of body which houses the organ, the heart)
Like Dorothy in the film The Wizard of Oz, who took her search for her heart’s desire much futher afield to the emerald city…
I too want to go home.
(but where is home)

The body is a dwelling place; 2 Cor 5:1. And my vulnerable motherly body hungers also to be a guarded fatherly body…

My silent response to the question; back pregnant with the little wooden house, strapped/harnessed to my back; the geometric lines of the house against softness, against flesh …blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth…

Do not remember my earthly body and all its fragility, but the conflict between my earthly body and my heavenly body; who will win? An attack of conscience is not a warm comfortable experience, it becomes a burden and truth (should be) a release? The need to be naked is important for the representation of humility, grace, love, integrity, confidence, self control; kindness.

My loss/lack of place and the division between maleness and femaleness becomes less clear…

…As long as we are at home in the body we are away. .. from home…I …prefer to be away from the body….

And my vulnerable motherly body hungers to be your guarded fatherly body… 
I am a stranger on earth Ps 119:19

In Louise Bourgeois’ 1947 ink drawing ‘Femme Maison’ and Miroslaw Balka’s late 80s sculptural installation ‘River’ there is a correlation that goes beyond gender. Balka’s work shows a naked male body whose bodily surface appears to be made from bandages of white plaster; it is laying face down and positioned just above the ground by metal supports. One of the arms reaches out in front whilst the other arm dips down by the side. There is a slim blue rippling neon light positioned at the head of this figure it suggests the drawn line of a wave of water. Trailing beneath the figurative setting electric wires from the neon light travel back to a window less, doll-sized wooden house; the figure appears to be attempting an escape from the little house.

Bourgeois’ drawing on the other hand shows a naked female body which from the legs and waist up becomes a house. Where rib cage and breasts should be a stairway instead leads our gaze deep into the recesses of a house who is half woman; half house. From near the roof top a little arm reaches out from inside the house as if trying to get our attention; is this a gesture or an action; a wave of welcome or a wave of distress?

In both works the human body appears compromised and engaged in an act of endurance, although one is engaged in the act of escaping and the other has no escape, both bodies appear to be in conflict in relation to the house.

i return…you return…she/he returns… we return… they return… i am returning…i have returned... i will return… i should return… can i return… it is return… it is written… it is return… we are returning… you will return… she/he is returning… they should return… can i return… when can i return… i am returning… i have returned… i will return… i should return… i return…you return….......she/he returns… we return… they return… i am returning…i have returned... i will return… i should return… can i return… it is return… it is written… it is return… we are returning… you will return… she/he is returning… they should return… i return…

'eMERGENCY home sick'

- As the residency began I decided to attend a bereavement workshop, I had been made redundant from my job at a parent’s drop-in centre; it was a job I really loved and I was experiencing a strong resistance to letting it go. The funding had been dramatically cut and the project would only survive if further funding could be sourced. Management were unprepared…trustees were getting ready for a fight; whilst the parents, who we were supposed to be protecting, were entertaining the local press for their 5 minutes of fame. Everybody panicked and nobody wanted to wait and see what was on the horizon. I felt that the funding would come in eventually; we just needed to have a little faith. On March 27th 2006 the parent centre opened its doors for the very last time -

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