Surprisingly, it has taken me until today to actually get some work started in my on-campus studio at Dartmouth Avenue. Nearly nine weeks into the term! We were told there's no hurry, that next term we "re-enter" our studio practice officially, after this term's intense focus on research. We've also been told to just get into our studio space and experiment - that it's in doing the work that we'll uncover our new direction. All of which has felt like contradictory advice and has left me feeling like a deer in the headlights, temporarily frozen.
But I know from experience that the longer I hesitate, the harder it really is to begin again. So today I picked up where I left off in September for our group exhibition in Germany and recreated a partial version of my Mending | Tending wall installation.
Although it's something I've done once before, it will always be different. Kind of like moving into a new home - my belongings are the same from the previous house, but they look completely different in the new space. Surrounding myself with familiar objects and materials is grounding, comforting. It will feel like home after awhile, but not right away.
In a recent paper, Home in the re-making: Immigrants' transcultural experiencing of home (Kreuzer et al., 2017), Maria Kreuzer and her colleagues found three different ways that immigrants experience home: 1) longing for the past, nostalgic for what they left; 2) mingling new relationships with old and new ways of consuming (products, food, etc.); and 3) experiencing home within oneself, supported by new close social relationships and an independent sense of groundedness and wellbeing regardless of location. I can relate to all of these, with the latter being the most satisfying and beneficial to my wellbeing.
In thinking about my research aims and objectives, which have evolved and crystallized since I first wrote about them a month ago, these questions come to mind:
- What portion of the students in my MA program are from overseas or have relocated within the past three years?
- How do they define or experience home? What does home mean to them?
- What helps them feel at home here?
- What role does their participation as a student at Bath Spa play?
Kreuzer, M. (2017) Home in the re-making: Immigrants' transcultural experiencing of home. Journal of Business Research: Elsevier. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.10.047 (Accessed: 13 November 2017).