Sunday, 25 March 2012

"Going Home" series

Detail from Going Home 1. Acrylic on paper 2012   42x30cm
                               The "Going Home" series of sketches was painted in one session in February of this year. From a family photograph, I extracted three basic colours - black, violet, white and chose to experiment with these. I used acrylic paint for fast drying qualities. Also, I chose paper to enable me to make quick marks when required and this also allowed me to vary the overall proportions from one piece to the next. I worked in a spontaneous way, varying the compositions as I painted and returning to the same theme if it felt appropriate.
Going Home 2.Acrylic on paper 2012   21x11cm
          The overall effect in these pieces may be considered dark or mysterious. It is always important for me to push boundaries in any painting session and to change according to the moment.   The same limited colour palette in each painting has helped retain continuity  in these abstract works.

Going Home 3. 42x30cm
                                             Last year, I spent  several months caring for my mother who was sadly diagnosed with dementia. Despite the trauma of seeing a parent losing their cognitive ability, I saw this situation as an opportunity to develop my life experience. Common effects of dementia include attention, language and problem solving. Especially in later stages, those afflicted may become disoriented in time, in place and in person. The patients short term memory is likely to be affected whilst the long term remains functioning. Because of this, it is quite common for dementia sufferers to request or even demand to "go home" because the memories of their origins are more potent and more comfortable to their present surroundings.

Going Home 4.Acrylic on paper 2012  42x20cm
    During the process of making these paintings and after, I began to  reflect on these valuable days spent with my mother and the whole nature of "home" and it's significance in our path of life. "Home" by definition is "a place of residence" - the place in which a person grew up or feels they belong. But "home" more importantly, may also relate to a mental or emotional state of refuge and comfort. The state of a persons home has been known to physiologically influence their behaviour, emotions and overall mental health. 
                                            So, although this sense of wanting to "go home" is exacerbated in old age and dementia, the desire to go back to our origins, to a place where we have a sense of belonging  and where there is love, is also part our human condition. This is proven, I believe by the vast amount of literature, poetry and music which has devoted itself over the years to the subject of "Going Home".      
Going Home 5.   28x21cm

Going Home 6.   39x21cm


The photograph which inspired the origination of the "Going Home" series.
This series is dedicated to my mother Bertha,
someone who continues to inspire me creatively and someone certainly worth "Going Home" to.

You may leave any comments on the above or share what "home" means to you in the box below.