"What today is the meaning of foreign, the meaning of homeland? When the homeland becomes foreign, the foreign becomes the homeland.” – Thomas Mann
Maps, borders, immigration, and refugees—topics pertinent to our world’s geopolitical climate—have been of interest to me, as a member of a family with a complex historical narrative, and having redefined ‘homeland’ periodically over the course of my life.
In this series of paintings, I explore the idea of ‘territory’ as represented by maps, alongside images of abandoned homes, to express my perception of a collective reality that influences us all, one of conflict and man-made destruction.
The paintings seek to portray the experience of migration, and parallel my own external and internal journeys. I employ recognizable, symbolic motifs, alongside fragmented narratives: ruined homes, embodying empty and lost spaces, that represent our need to belong somewhere, physically and emotionally; abstract landscapes, evoking a void, an absence of ‘place’ we strive to fill; and maps, topographic symbols of ‘place,’ which illustrate the experience of migration as echoed by Jacqueline Carey: “All exiles carry a map within them that points the way homeward”.
I dedicate this work to people who have lost their country, had to find a new country, or never had a country.