Who’s House Is it?

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Who’s House is it? Forest and Field have become condos and homes.

Amid a thick forest, there’s a sense of expansion, as if one can reach the sky as easily as Wren. There are no boundaries, only freedom, despite the many trees and rocks and plants.

Amid a housing development there’s a sense of containment. You cannot step without encountering a boundary of some sort. Shrubberies, trees, concrete, fences, implied lines we cannot cross, that dotted yellow line down the middle of the street…there’s little freedom where we humans live now.

Yet, Wrens still fly about with ease. As do Cardinals, Robins, Sparrows, Crows. They aren’t contained by the houses or the trees. They’re at home always.

So in our housing developments, who’s more at home? Who’s house is it?

  • Materials: Cotton, cotton-polyester thread, silk, ink.
  • Series: NA
  • Size: 22 inches x 18 inches (56 cm x 46 cm)
  • Completed: 2023
  • Current location: Private Collection

My Thoughts on the Work

I had a tough time with Who’s House Is It? I loved the Start, which was how this one began. I found hand-dyed silk by Sandra McMorris Johnson’s that paired beautifully with it. I was thinking about the juxtaposition of city and forest as I added the silks. I had the idea I would somehow infer the idea of houses.

And birds kept showing up as I stared at the piece on my design wall. For weeks, I struggled to find the finish for this work while I simultaneously raised a gosling and cared for an injured duckling. Was that why birds kept showing up as I looked at the work?

Then, Gosling was Goose and happily living with the Flock. Duckling had passed and been mourned. I had time to breathe…and the next step arrived.

Even after the ideas began to flow again, the work was not without challenges. I made a couple mistakes that led me deeper into the work. I was frustrated and disappointed until I saw the evolution. I wanted to quit before fellow artist Will Mitchel offered the insight I needed to find my way back home. It worked out. In the end, all that was left was the question: Who’s House Is it?

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