Notions of Home

I have my first critique of the year scheduled a week from tomorrow. Do I have anything ready for it? Not yet but I am working on it. I am nervous that it will either not be ready in time, or (and let’s be honest here) not successfully translate well. But the latter speaks to my insecurities. More on them later.

I like the theme of the project, which is on the notions of home. The word “home” can mean many things from displacement, loss, to belonging. I chose to tackle the subject by revisiting memories of my childhood, a positive and nurturing environment. I thought about the activities and the surroundings I grew up in, and one thing that struck me was the huge park located near my house that I visited often.

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This park is located in North York and it stretches from Bathurst to Dufferin, Finch to Steeles, and it was my favourite playground. I knew every square inch of that park. I would ride my bike on all of the bike trails. To me, the park was my second home and a place to let my imagination run wild, and to appreciate nature.

This weekend, I visited my parents (they still live in the same house near the park after all of these years) and did a bit of the hike in the park with my mom. The park is still the same but different. Some of the wide open spaces have been filled with trees; some of the big trees I remembered have died. It was nice to be back in it, though the memories I have included green foliage and warm weather, not snow. Also, my memory of walking through the park seemed bigger back then. Of course, when I was a kid, even a teenager, everything seemed big. It was like the trees were 20x their height and for my overactive imagination, these trees were giants.

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So, my project idea includes two possible solutions: to create branches and foliage out of paper, or create cut outs of branches and foliage out of paper. Both of these would hang from the ceiling. I want to do this because I can play with light and shadow. I tried creating the paper cut outs but failed to include bridges between the cuts so the result is flimsy and unsupported. Why paper? I’m curious about using it as a material for sculpture. A catch for this project: it has to be portable.

There’s a lot of self-doubt happening in my mind right now but I knew this would happen. Many of us artists have this and it’s easy to plagued by it. I know a part of me is worried about how the work will be interpreted, which translates to approval from my teacher and classmates. We all want approval. But I’m pushing passed that. 2015 is the year I banish self-doubt. So, I’m still thinking what I can do despite the cut outs not working… I like the idea of creating a forest out of cut-outs and playing with light and shadow.

It’s time to figure out Plan B with a week to spare, and of course, other projects looming on the horizon. I just hope the idea strikes when it’s not two or three days before it’s due. I dislike all nighters and avoid them at all costs but I know that the creative juices really flow when the deadline is so close. I wish I wasn’t so but that’s how it is. Wish me luck!

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