|Homeplace workshop II, 1/10/15|
|Sarah Bair, "All are Welcome"|
|BARS-Behind America's Ruggesd System|
Saeed and Olaf, in turn, were inspired by a recent local newspaper article on a homeless man who had been arrested and placed in jail for creating a fire outdoors to keep warm on a cold day. They created two linked black boxes, evoking a homeless encampment and a jail house. The homeless camp space is covered with collage images signaling the open fire and police surveillance; all under a tattered American flag, reminding us of the nation’s promise, not always fulfilled, to care for its most vulnerable. (The flag also recalls Righteous Dopefiend's opening banner image of a homeless veteran proudly waving an American flag above his tent.) The cells in the jailhouse are marked by narrow bars. They called the assemblage “B.A.R.S”—“Behind American’s Rugged System.” For far too many in America, they explained, prison has become their principal “home-place.”
|Ellen Schattschneider HouseHolding.|
Native American peoples of this area. As I was making this "nest" I wanted to use an ancient basketmaking technique called "twining" in which one strand/reed, folded over in half, works to
surround or "embrace" a strand running perpendicular to it. This creates a surface of connected, yet distinct, pieces--eventually binding them into a single structure, be it a basket, piece of clothing, or building structure. As I was binding together strands of raffia, reeds and willow branches I began to think that this was not unlike the way a family is made--distinct individuals bound together,
indeed embraced and held by the place we call "home”.
|Sandra Costi, Momma's Backyard|
Several participants created garden spaces, either based on a remembered garden of their childhood or a kind of secret garden they continue to carry with them internally.
Finally, Drew wrote a moving commentary about his experiences during military deployment in Afghanistan. For him, the closest thing to “home” was sleeping on a mat on the front hood of his Humvee, above the engine’s warm and familiar vibrations-- a small patch of security in an unfamiliar, potentially treacherous world.
The art works are now installed in the Museum's lobby as part of the student-developed exhibition, “All our stories are so different but we’re all the same: Homelessness and Heroin in our Community.” We’re eager to see what other works are made by community members and how the installation develops over the course of the quarter, as more and more people engage with Righteous Dopefiend and its deeply moving images and text panels.