After being shown at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery in February, social practice artist Emily van Lidth de Jeude is presenting her immersive art installation, w h a t . h o m e, for the first time on Bowen, where it all began.
This project is the result of the artist’s lifelong search for connection between people and place, and for understanding the intricate idea of what we define as home.
Between 2017 and 2018, Emily filmed and interviewed 30 West Coast residents from different backgrounds in different landscapes. Facing the camera, they share to the artist and to the viewers their thoughts and experiences of political and racial tension, privilege, rental housing crisis, homelessness, immigration, displacement, and colonialism in South Coastal BC.
Though five years have passed since the initial making of this project, the issues brought up in people’s testimonies, interestingly remain collective issues today.
“Longing for the landscapes of home and for a sense of belonging persists across all cultures and times, it seems, as does the damage to people, landscapes, and culture by colonialism,” says Emily.
The installation consists of life-size video projections of these interviews on hanging fabrics. While visitors walk through the space, their movements and shadows become part of the whole experience. Emily seeks to create a space for people to engage with, in which they can as well engage with their own thoughts and experiences.
Emily’s mission as an artist is to help change our society’s path to something more sustainable. Funded by the Canada Council of the Arts, w h a t . h o m e gives other people space to talk about their own social, political, and ecological issues, as they relate to the idea of home.
“Our experiences and struggles with home are as diverse as we are, and yet the conversation always comes down to the same thing: belonging. Home is where we belong, and belonging is what makes these issues matter,” says van Lidth de Jeude.
w h a t . home runs through Nov. 25. Emily will be at her exhibit on Friday, Nov. 10 from 6 to 8 pm. Find out more about her work at emilyartist.ca