Shelter examines the ever-widening gap between upper and lower classes, reflecting on this disparity not as a criticism, but as an examination of the meaning and importance of home.The gulf between classes is not a new story – there have always been those who live in prosperity and those who manage to do without.
Love and Care Road in South Carolina, near where my husband grew up, is littered with the skeletal remains of old barns, broken down trailers, and small shacks that still house whole families. After driving past so much abject poverty, it is startling to suddenly come across the vast number of four-story luxury homes that dot the lakeside, not more than five minutes away.
Traveling through remote areas of the Blue Ridge Mountains can feel like moving backward in time – real folk music is still being sung, life is slower, and the pioneering mountain spirit lives on. There is a temperament of self-sufficiency, where relying on your own grit and hard work is a matter of course. Laundry is washed by hand in tubs, and hung in the sun and air to dry. Old cars are fixed until they finally run out of steam, then are abandoned to be reclaimed by the land. Clothes and children’s toys are hand made, as is liquor. The patched together wooden houses are simple and modest, and daylight makes its way indoors.
It is a reminder to me – when commodity culture, economic politics, homelessness, joblessness, and campaigns like the occupy movement fill the media and my consciousness – that no matter how humble our dwelling, it is our sanctuary.
Installation at Bullseye Gallery
11' wide, 11' deep, 8' high
glass, steel, furnishings
photo: Dan Kvitka