home is where the heart is, a set on Flickr.
“home is where the heart is” gallery exhibition for Port Moody Arts Centre, opening reception 6-8pm on Thursday, April 21st
“Leaving home, leaving the country of my birth, leaving my family, putting down roots half a world away. The old familiars are no longer at hand beside me.
Yet I look up to a new night sky so similar to the old one I used to gaze at as a child from the shadows of my childhood garden. I orientate myself with familiar constellations; Orion the Hunter, the Plough, the Milky Way though it is dimmer and the stars sparkle less. So comforting, knowing that over the seas my family are rooted under the same sky. Even the water I dip my toes in is remotely connected through the great oceans to my childhood beach where I gathered shells and sea glass treasures. I carry my memories as wearable, portable touchstones of those precious to me.
I remain connected. I make my home.
One of the first reasons for making my own jewelry was extreme homesickness experienced after moving to Canada, selling our UK home and putting down roots here. I missed and still miss my family and friends as I make my new life in BC. Emigrating exacts a huge price on social networks, family ties, and security, especially for the non-working, trailing spouse who has no familiar work routine to slot readily into. On the trip back to the UK to sell our home I spent a few weeks with my parents in the Scottish seaside village which I grew up in. I came back to Canada with almost a kilogram of beachcombed sea glass from my childhood beach and over a hundred photographs of my childhood garden. Somehow they developed mystical qualities, tying me to the homeland I will probably never live in again and influencing my work. My jewelry-making initially focused on creating portable mementoes using sea glass, vintage beads from unstrung hand-me-downs, and other souvenirs of a former life, so I could carry them with in my new homeland.
So I can remain connected to who and where I used to be.
So I can feel safe and secure and put down new roots.”