Friday, September 11, 2015


Home Gouache and watercolour on paper 38 x 42.5 cm
We can examine the word 'home' from a few perspectives....and regular readers know how much I like thinking about and with perspective!
Home can be the abode we live in. It can also be where we were born, which maybe in another city, town or country. Home can be where we feel most comfortable, and that does not have to be the physical place where we eat, sleep and so on. It can be where our parent/s live. We can feel 'at home' within ourselves, even if we are not in a physical place that we would normally call a home.
Home can also be planet Earth. After all, it has been 'home' to every human, past and present...but maybe not for future humans, except in nostalgic reminiscences! The concept of leaving or returning home, when it's Earth that's being left or returned to, certainly stretches perspective as well as the enormity of possible 'home-sickness'.
Where might future humans call 'home'? Well...the Mars One project certainly extends the idea of a future human home beyond Earth. It's still within our solar system, but poses many potentially catastrophic issues for those who might try to inhabit the planet. So, alternatives might be found in the increasing number of recently discovered Earth-like planets, orbiting in the Goldilocks zones of distant stars. These are called exoplanets ie: they are outside our solar system. For some people they offer great promise for possible alternative planetary homes for humans, and presumably selected animals, and possibly plants too. But, the latter would depend on the abundance of flora a new planetary home might offer, has been posited, some of these far-away planets might be even more abundant than Earth!
As philosopher Paul Virilio comments in his 2012 book 'The Great Accelerator' [p.17] these exoplanets entice with a kind of 'promised land' story. But, his sentiment is coupled with a critical condemnation or warning of the destructive forces that might cause, and witness, a mass exodus of humanity from Earth. Indeed, Earthly human history has many examples of mass exodus of people, caused be a need or an urgency to leave, that have resulted in major issues for everyone involved.
And, that brings me to current events where masses of people are fleeing war-torn countries in the Middle East, mainly Iraq and Syria. People are also fleeing unsafe environments in Africa and Asia. The moving mass of people around the globe, particularly into Europe, has accelerated in recent months due to heightened/sustained threats, as well as the northern hemisphere Summer, which makes it more conducive for travelling/fleeing on foot, by boat and camping out etc. Needless to say, despite Summer weather, the dangers of seeking refuge are still present, as clearly evidenced by dreadful happenings, such as deaths at sea and more. These people are fleeing from HOME...of country, house, family, heritage, culture. Their suffering on so many levels is beyond belief. I wonder if they can keep their internal 'homes' intact? I wonder...
Home Gouache and Watercolour on paper 2015
My new painting is another of my cosmic landscapes. Can you pick where 'home' might be? Yes, the beacon of the tree-of-life heralds to you! It could be Earth, or it could a future exoplanetary home? Or, it could be symbolic of 'home' as an amalgam of country, house, family, heritage and culture. It could be symbolic of that place within that provides spiritual and mental refuge, even if the physical world of 'home' is taken away.
Placed within a cosmic-like perspective, the small tree-beacon, might suggest that the Universe is our home. Yet, taking the universe, both as a literal place but also something 'other'...maybe in a yet-to-be-discovered other dimension...this painting may suggest the possibility of a 'home' we cannot yet imagine?
Selected posts about the idea of HOME
Greener Pastures  Here I 'play' with the stories of Goldilocks and The Three Bears, plus Billy Goats Gruff with reference to seeking new 'homes' on other planets.
New World Habitability. Vacation Anyone?  Here I discuss the possibility of exoplanet super abundance .
Questions - Three Paintings In this post I write about three works on paper that pose questions about humanity leaving Earth

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