Longing to Belong (in progress)
The Welsh term hiraeth: means to have homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home you've never been to, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places or feelings of your past.
Longing to Belong speaks to my complex beginnings as a child relinquished at birth, growing up in an adoptive family, and then my life as an adult coping with the loss of belonging that comes with severed family roots. This project explores social topics around identity, loss, attachment, and social constructs, within a feminist perspective. Through the mediums of fibre, sound, video, and performance, this body of work responds to places that are related to my birth mother, birth father, and family.
‘Place attachment’ is the emotional bond between a person and a place, and is highly influenced by the individual and their personal experiences. There is a shame factor that resonates in adoptees about their worthiness to belong to their family of origin. During the construction of identity, part of what we do is generate meaning by attaching memories and experiences to a place. As an adoptee, feminist, and artist, I investigate how different places affect my sense of belonging and how place contributes to identity formation.
These images below are part of my exploration for this project and include textile sculptures and performance work at abandoned homes and camps on Vancouver Island, BC and at my maternal family homestead in Gull Lake, AB.