The Geography of Home and My Obsession With the Notion of Place

Presently reading, Geography of Home: writings on where we live by Akiko Busch and have always had quite a thing for thinking about space/place/where I live.  At this very moment, I am rearranging/sorting/cleaning out the studio.  The weather can only be described as  ‘autumn’ here in Calgary, so this is the perfect time!  I found this photo reference in a box in the studio…a photo of Angel Glacier up Edith Cavell-way back in 2004.  Now, there’s a place that, even as I think about it, gives me chills.  It is such a mystical experience to do the alpine hike and to hear huge chunks of the glacier crash down into the milky green water below.

At the same time as thinking about this place, I move my painting of Angel Glacier onto my back deck, as I sort and stack.  There it is leaning against the bench, beside a snow shovel.  It is an interesting thing how paintings attempt to give some impression of PLACE, but can only succeed to a point.  Landscape paintings, I think, are about inheritance and about leaving future generations with some sense of how beautiful our world is/was.  At least, this was something really on my mind as I approached landscape painting.  Who knows.  I first thought about this when the protagonist, Morag, of Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners explained to her metis daughter, Piquette, what a buffalo was.  It’s interesting, but from one generation to the next, something is lost.  I think artists of all kinds, try to capture a bit of the sense of ‘the dance’ once the audience goes home.  I love typewriters and old records for just this reason.  They remind me of another place, as much as another time.

3 thoughts on “The Geography of Home and My Obsession With the Notion of Place

  1. I love the fact that in English we have the word ‘home’ which means so much more than the word ‘house’. As I have reflected on my nomadic childhood, I realize that more than place, ‘home’ for me has been the people with whom I shared the walls of a house and the rhythms and rituals that were created to make sense out of and give order to our life. Regardless of where we lived, Saturday night supper was macaroni and cheese, baths, having hair curled and polishing shoes all in preparation for church on Sunday. I continue to marvel at my parents capacity to ensure this continuity in our lives and I am grateful for the security that such rituals gave.

  2. Home! Yummers! I love all of the memories/thoughts/ideas/pictures that this word conjures up! I also sort of feel as though I make every ‘place’ my ‘home’…that’s why I picked Angel Glacier…believe it or not…when I’m there, it’s home…when I’m here, this is home. I guess what I’m saying is that I carry home with me everywhere…home is present to every place, when I am there. Does that make sense? My children have been to the glacier with me. Now, when I go alone…they are still there…they always will be. I think that home transcends everything. I think you and I are saying the same thing. Thanks for visiting my home on a Thursday night! You are in my heart.

  3. The picture of you is so full of joy, and your painting of the glacier is beautiful. I have a sense of home when I with the people I love, but I also feel like I am still on a journey going home.

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