April 2006
If it is something I take with me
Ever since my family moved on from the house I first called Home, I have since looked back on it as my standard for what a home should look and feel like. Having to grow up and move on to new places has created a longing in me to come to understand what Home really is, if it is not just a place you live. Home has since presented itself to me in a myriad of ways. I see it in old photographs I’ve kept from years past, I see it in the trees out my back door, and I hear about Home in the way a friend may talk about the places they long to visit again or could only ever dream up. If it is something I take with me was born out of this observation of the existence of Home in many forms. In this body of work I explore these ideas through collage—a process which parallels the way we collect memories of home, and emphasizes our collective existence through gathering photographs from a number of different times in one space.
As I’ve gone through this journey I’ve been reminded that there is a struggle among all of us to find lasting comfort in something. This has led me to contemplate the idea of our collective existence. This is the notion that we, as the human race, are all experiencing just as many existential struggles and wonders as our neighbors. This search for understanding Home and all the nuances that are tied to it has been my struggle. In this struggle I have found comfort in the knowledge that I’ve never actually had to leave any of it behind. Home is now not only contained in the four walls of a house, although it definitely can be found there. Now, Home feels like the memories I made in the breakfast nook as a little girl, or like a New Year’s Eve spent contemplating the passage of time under the orange-blue gradient of the sunset.
For me, photographs have been a way for me to reflect on my space in the world. Photographs I’ve made myself and ones from my childhood are especially evocative of those feelings. Because the nature of collage is so forgiving, I can move pieces around freely until they present the story correctly. When I work with photographs I think about how two images that were not originally intended to be used together can come from different times and places to make something new. Digital collage can unify any image on the same plane, carrying through the idea that Home can exist no matter how far away the memory or how out of reach the place may feel.
If it is something I take with me by no means reaches every depth in which I’ve experienced Home. However, it does furnish a few corners, and pin a few pictures on the walls of what I’ve come to understand in my life. I hope that those who see my work are reminded of what home looks like to them, and feel connected to others through these moments. What I know so far is that we carry this idea of Home with us wherever we go, so, I suppose that Home is everywhere.
Archival Inkjet Print
© 2020, Hannah Pearson, All Rights Reserved
photography, collage, digital collage, home, belonging, memory, time, self, identity, family, collective existence, change, past, present