What makes a Home?

Earlier this week I went to the opening of an exhibition. It was an exhibition of small artworks drawn or painted onto cut out suitcase shapes produced in a refugee camp in Greece. These were exhibited alongside small artworks executed on cut out house shapes produced by artists and people living in my local area. Three artists had previously travelled to the refugee camp to work with people living there. The artworks all symbolise ideas of what makes home special to each individual.
When I was approached to produce an artwork for the exhibition I immediately said, ‘Yes’. The proceeds of any sales were to be donated to the refugees and I like to get involved in local Art projects. Although I found it easy to decide what to do, it was hard because it focused my mind on the fact that all my family are gone, and they were what made my home special. The painting and stitching that ended up decorating the surface of my small house represented the plants growing in my house and garden and me trying to stitch my life back together. I have been spending a lot of time in the garden and the plants are now the only things living with me. I completed my piece and duly delivered it to the local Art Centre where the exhibition was to be held.
The opening of the exhibition was well attended and it was lovely looking around the different artworks and speaking to different people. What I hadn’t appreciated was how profoundly it would affect me. I struck me that my artwork seemed cold in comparison to many, who had family at the heart of their representations. It threw me back to last year when I felt very much separated from the rest of society and unable to speak to people. I felt in some ways that I could relate more to how the refugees felt. Although I know that, unlike them, I still live in a nice house in the place I have lived most of my life, but I do still feel dispossessed and displaced in many ways.

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