Of what constitutes a home? Wherein lies its gist, its essence? Perhaps it lies within the confines of its walls, in the discrete minutiae of routine, or the steady tread of its evenings. Or perhaps it is in the threads and linkages, familial and personal, that bind us to a place. For others still it is both anchor and self, both refuge and bond. The intimacies of shared lives, or a warm, bright light in strange lands.
Isha Naguiat, Pin Calacal, and Nicole Tee reconsider notions of home in Home Making , bringing to the fore personal significations beyond common tropes. While at times alluding to home’s more traditional conceptions— of the private and the feminine, of boundaries defined by differentiation and social mores— it attempts at new trajectories. Once divorced from the public realm, home becomes reconfigured as a site of, and the material for, creative work.
Naguiat reverts to the structure of a house to explore the tensions between home and away, of moving and residing. Why do we leave and why do we stay? And while every act of leaving implies a destination, it is the most poignant ones that hope (at times, fervently) for an act of return. For far too many of our human tragedies consist of having to leave without such hope. Calacal, on the other hand, is attuned to the material sheddings of the familiar bodies that constitute our days— our own or in proximity with ours. She sifts through the residue sloughed off and re-casts them into cocoons to be slipped and eased into. It is of home as transience, to be shed and created and shed again. Finally, Tee continues to create works with conceptual underpinnings, playfully inverting how objects are presented— paintings turned into throw pillows, patterned cloth stretched on frames, and the backside of embroidered patterns that highlight difference as much as it resides in a shared act. Activities ascribed to home-making and the creative act of the artist collapse, the familiar becomes strange becomes familiar once again. Objects shift, the ground undulates. And the domains of home and non-home, the outside and inside, of self and others blur and sharpen, revealing itself in multifaceted light.
Photos by West Gallery