Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ritter Center House -Spoken Words

I am starting to scratch some of the sentences that I have pulled from peoples experiences of being homeless into the walls and roof of my house. So many homeless people talk about how hard it is not having anyone who knows or cares about them. This desire to be connected to people seems almost like a requirement of being human. That without other people in you life it is barely possible to exist. Like food or water. One thing I never thought about is that once you are on the streets there is a kind of loose community of people who are already there. Those people who, for whatever reason, haven't been able to hang on to their homes, jobs, whatever.... What is incredibly moving to me is that these people tend to support each other. They all know that they each represent possibly the last chance of anyone showing up for one another. This one woman writes about this community and what it means to her: "They care about me and miss me if I don't turn up and that makes me feel really special, well at least to someone." I am using a sharp needle like tool to scratch through the paint to form these sentences. Like the dark lines going around the house these words will spiral up around the sides of the house. I still haven't figured out how to carve the figure at the top.

carving letters

house progress

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ritter Center House

I am now working on a project that will benefit The Ritter Center. This is an organization located in San Rafael, California that serves low income families and the homeless. Link: The Ritter Center - Marin Homeless Safety Net - Home There are about 20 artists all making unique houses. When they are done they are going to be installed in public spaces and then auctioned off- all proceeds going to help The Ritter Center. My house is still being figured out but what I am doing so far is creating an upwards path going from the bottom of the house up to the roof. This line will metaphorically represent the long road both out and into homelessness. Like a weathervane floating above the house I am also going to create a figure in balance. Maybe this will be carved out of wood..not sure yet. Symbolizing the buoyancy of the human spirit to transcend but also the very real precarious reality of our lives. I have been reading several blogs on the web, all written by homeless people. It is quite extraordinary that now, not only can we read first hand what these people are going through but we can comment and have a dialogue by leaving comments. Us in our homes at our computers and them at pay per view internet cafes on the other side of the world. Here is a link to one that is really quite amazing. Link: The Adventures of Homeless Girl
I am taking some of words and ideas that seem to be occurring repeatedly in the stories of people who find themselves on the outside edges of society. Ideas such as feeling invisible, needing to be missed and the difficulty of living on the street and I am writing them into the surface of the walls of this house. Although the subject is a difficult one, I am focusing the look and feel of this house to be one of hope fullness. These pictures below are of the house in it's beginning stages.....

house 1

house 1.5

house 3