Installation at Slide Room Gallery, Victoria
Gone Home . 2018
In Gone Home, by creating an environment using hand made soap, which has been cast into letters and objects, and large Nimbus cloud paintings, my work encourages people to reflect on the emotional meaning of severe depression and how it affects them or the people close to them.
Soap is a metaphor for impermanence; it holds connotations of intimacy, and reveals hidden elements as it dissolves. Boxes for the soap are constructed using dry point etching and a list of ingredients: ash, bone, blood, motor oil, lard, bacon fat, sea salt, charcoal, etc. Letters and idioms are used as visual elements, raising the question of language and the challenge of communicating emotions.
The castings are displayed in 3 ways: as a museum display, turning the soap into precious objects; a store display as a commentary on the commodification of conformity; and a voyeuristic display of a young man’s coffee table with phosphorescent soap sculptures suggesting various means through which emotions are avoided.
The nimbus paintings are long, infinite paintings of storm clouds; the power of severe depression for some, and the magnificence of what we cannot control in others. Having the simultaneous experience of looking into and looking out of a dark cloud will encourage the viewer to be left alone with their own thoughts.
The last sculpture is made with sand and cast soap trucks, arranged in the boy scout wilderness symbol meaning “I’ve gone home”. It represents the end of my brothers’ journey but also becomes the conclusion of my own journey, through process, towards a new relationship with my brother and with my grief .
The intention of Gone Home is to start a conversation that is usually avoided regarding what it might feel like to be deeply sad, to have no choice but to take one’s own life, and the taboo subject of our own thoughts and experiences of death.
This work is dedicated to my little brother, 1976-2015.