Welcome Home-site specific installation 2018
“Welcome Home” was a site specific installation of paintings, drawings and objects completed between 2016-18. The work was created during a time period of personal upheaval where my art practice was my only way to ground and navigate my grief process. I felt I had worked so hard to create my “perfect” family that when my husband asked for a divorce the shame of failing as something so essential was devastating. I used family photographs as the compositional framework that I combined with fantastical elements to create work imbued with a surreal narrative of resilience. The domestic narratives were activated further with the decision to exhibit the work inside an abandoned Chicago home rather than a traditional gallery space. Once my paintings and drawings were installed, I began to play with the houses energy and alter its surfaces as a means to bind my artwork to the sense of place. The house had its own resilience story as it bore evidence of the family that once lived there: clothing left in the dryer, pots and pans stored in the stove, magnets still on the refrigerator. My artwork, combined with the house as a container and energetic collaborator, created a visual experience that was a unique combination of intimacy, grief, love and defiance. Due to the small scale of the house I only allowed 2 people at a time to view the exhibit. The video documentation of “Welcome Home” mimics the path that viewers took beginning in the basement and leading up to the main floor. I too stayed outside to allow for the experience of the home and my work to dialog with the viewer in solitude. My favorite moments would come when a visitor would stay and talk to me about what they experienced and share feelings about their own family and their own experience around divorce and grief. These moments between myself and others, were the true completion of the art process which transformed shame and isolation into connection.