Coming Home

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home free your happy art school of art life happiness

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Reflecting on the meaning of Home

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When the Muse told me the next Chapter had to be about Home I soon found myself lost in a world where belonging was not just about finding a home for your soul. It was about refugees, about being homeless. About feeling at home in your own skin. I found Art that was created because people had to find some sort of meaning, in a world where thousands had to leave everything behind.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]

That’s why this chapter is about A tangible home and a Home for our Soul. And a way to reflect if Home really is where the heart is. We’re using the Dolls House as a metaphor and also because it’s so much fun to built your own dolls house! Building your own house is a bit like being in full control. And that’s a wonderful feeling from time to time, don’t you think?

I wish you a beautiful Month filled with Creative Magic.

Esther X

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[dt_gap height=”20″ /]”Home is where all your attempts to escape cease”- Naguib Mahfouz [dt_gap height=”10″ /]


Your assignment this Month

Built, Draw, Paint the meaning of Home.
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This is how you do it:[dt_gap height=”10″ /]

  • Go through the entire assignment. Watch the Assignment Video below. [dt_gap height=”30″ /]
  • The core of the assignment is: create your own Dolls House, while reflecting on the meaning of HOME. 
    – You decide HOW you do it. Chances are, the idea will come TO you once you start reflecting and watch the videos about the dolls’  houses.
    – Expand the attention and meaning of ‘Coming Home and Home’  to your daily life. What does it mean to you? Where do you feel at home? Do you need the safety of your house to fel at home? Where do you NOT feel at home. What would it mean if you were without a home? What do you experience when looking at people without a house. The homeless, refugees… See where this train of thought takes you.
    [dt_gap height=”30″ /]DIY dolls house
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  • The DIY Dolls house
    Supplies: file folder, scissors, paper, magazine, glue stick
    Instructions: Trim the top of the file folder to remove the tab (or use a piece of card board).
    Open the folder, and glue the paper for the scene background to the inside of the folder.
    You can use gift wrapping paper, or craft paper, old wall paper, or you paint your own.
    Cut out pictures from catalogs or magazines.
    [dt_gap height=”10″ /]pop up demo
    To make a pop up, cut two parallel lines across the fold  – shown in blue – . With the folder open, push the strip toward you, and crease the folds to make it stay.Then glue the pictures to your scene with the glue stick. Or use thick sturdy tape to glue to cardboard pieces together. (Experiment!)

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  • The ‘Found Object’ Dolls’ house
    Reflect on the idea of house and Home.
    Walk around in your own house or outside and look for items for your house.
    Go wild. A cap can be a plate, or a chair. A bus ticket can become a door. A paperclip a person. You can use an old shoebox as the house. Or a shelf…[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
    – Phantasize about who might live there. Are they happy or sad?
    – Is it a place where you could live? What happened with the inhabitants?
    – Make up stories about the house and the people..[dt_gap height=”30″ /]
  • Again there is no right or wrong. This is very important. There’s no mistake in art. 
    This is not a How to do it . You have to experiment, because that way you will learn more and develop your own style.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
    – Your art is always connected with you.
    – Saying your art is not good enough is telling yourself you are not enough.
    – Admire your art is praising yourself. Praise yourself a lot! It will help make you feel happy and light. [dt_gap height=”30″ /]
    Show what you have created. Even a small sketch is interesting![dt_gap height=”10″ /]


What Material Do You Need?

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+ Magazines, paper, scissor, card board, glue, found objects like the wooden spoon you get with your ice cream (unfortunately it means you have to get an ice cream first), pieces of paper, plastic cups, strings, old necklaces etc etc
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+ The reflection sheets (click on the Download tab and print your sheets)

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+ Everything you fancy to built your Doll’s House[dt_gap height=”40″ /]

A house for dolls.

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Get inspired before you start your own house. [dt_gap height=”20″ /]

article Coming home creative study

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KOREAN-BORN artist Do Ho Suh moved to London a few years ago to be with his wife, he missed his adopted home of New York. He kept a 500-square-foot live-in studio there, in a former sailors’ dorm in Chelsea.

Many of Suh’s most famed sculptures had reimagined his homes—in translucent fabric or resin, or as a painstakingly detailed, oversize dollhouse—from his childhood in Seoul and his young adulthood in the United States.[dt_gap height=”20″ /]

Du Ho Suh, New York Apartment in Color, 2013

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At Art School, Suh couldn’t get into the classes he most wanted to take and ended up enrolling in The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture. “It changed the course of my life,” Suh says, adding that the professor, Jay Coogan, “is responsible for my becoming a sculptor.” Presented with the first assignment—use clothing to consider the human condition—Suh delved into ideas about the body, a topic that was taboo in Korea.

Around the same time, the Rodney King riots erupted in Los Angeles, and news images of armed Korean immigrants protecting their stores made Suh think for the first time about how non-Koreans perceived his ethnic group. His classmates, he recalls, all younger than he, related neither to the immigrant experience nor to the mandatory military training that every Korean man, himself included, must endure.[dt_gap height=”20″ /]

Du Ho Suh, Metal Jacket, 2009

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Fastening thousands of army dog tags to a military jacket, Suh created his first major sculpture: Metal Jacket. The modern-day coat of armor touched on many of the themes—personal space; the tension between the individual and the group; the inevitable culture clashes that arise with human migration—that continue to preoccupy his work, and it also became the prototype for Some/One, the imposing robe made of dog tags. From a distance, the viewer sees each sculpture as a single silvery surface. Only upon closer inspection does it register as a mosaic of dog tags, each representing an individual soldier.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
“Do Ho is exploring issues of what divides us and what unites us as human beings.”[dt_gap height=”10” /]
Suh made versions of his parents’ house in Seoul—a traditional slope-roofed hanok, quite out of style when his father commissioned a former carpenter at the royal palace to build it from reclaimed wood in the 1970s—in dreamy fabric, suspended from a gallery ceiling. “It has an interesting narrative,” he says of his childhood house. “But then, every building, every space, has that. It’s just not told.“[dt_gap height=”10” /]


[dt_gap height=”10″ /]Using fabric gave the pieces a ghostlike quality. Viewers were invited to enter some of the installations, heightening the sensation of being in a home, or the memory of one. Suh recalls how his brother, an architect, was disconcerted to see strangers wandering under a version of their family home at a 2000 exhibition at New York’s P.S. 1 museum.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]

Du Ho Suh, Fallen star, 2008 – 2011

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Fallen Star 1/5 (2008–11), one of his best-known works, takes a more solid model of that hanok and crashes it through the wall of a carefully furnished, dollhouse-like re-creation of the apartment building where he lived in Providence. Contrary to most viewers’ assumptions, his various home pieces are not exact replicas. “It’s intrinsically impossible to make them exact,” he says. “I wanted to achieve something intangible. It’s about memory, time spent in the space.”
In addition to exploring ideas about culture shock, Suh’s works can have a sense of humor[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
Says his longtime friend and fellow artist Janice Kerbel: “The works in a way are like him—they’re these very gentle things, almost like specters. There’s something ethereal about Do Ho—he doesn’t seem to belong to the place he’s in.”[dt_gap height=”10” /]
In 2010, Suh moved to London to join his second wife, Rebecca Boyle Suh, a British arts educator. Their first daughter was born soon after; their second followed this past summer. “I’ve been following my loves,” Suh says of his continent hopping, adding with a laugh, “it was never a career move.” If anything, London has been tougher to adjust to than the United States. “Things are so different here. I feel like it’s a completely different language, mentality and humor. I miss a lot of American values—like being straightforward and more relaxed.”[dt_gap height=”10” /]
His life in London revolves around family. He is not one to join the art world social scene. “His commitment to his practice is so intense,” says Kerbel, who is also based in London. “He’s a quiet person and keeps very much to himself. He needs that time to be alone and in his head.”[dt_gap height=”10” /]

Du Ho Suh, drawings, reflections on home

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Du Ho Suh, drawings, reflections on home

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Thoughts and reflections on Home
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alaniz wesr berlin
Work by South American Artists Wesr and Alaniz at Berlin sites

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no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

― Warsan Shire

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Home is the place your heart resides
Home is the place that you decide
Home is the womb that holds the soul
Home is the place where one is whole

Home is the glow you hold in your eye
Home is the emotion that makes you cry
Home is safe and a place of peace
Home is where all strivings cease

Home is protective against the others
Home is full of sisters and brothers
Home is where you find your rest
Home is where you feel your best

Home is a memory that follows your being
Home is a dream for those agreeing
Home is the place where reserves fall
Home is the place you yearn to call

Home is where the family meets
Home is a place of restful retreats
Home is the place you know you’ll be heard
Home is the place where nothing blurs

Home is all these wonderful things
Home is the place you develop wings
Home is the place that you’ll find one day
Home is the place where your heart will stay

― Aisha Patterson

reflect on HOME

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Download the sheets
– Keep it near your doll house (or in your bag when you’re out and about a lot. Don’t forget to place a pen or pencil near your sheets (so you don’t loose that wonderful word or thought that comes up!).
– Try to find one – or more words – for your meaning of home. It can be descriptive, but also a feeling that comes up while reflecting on home. Even if the word makes no sense write it down anyway.
– Chances are you will see a beautiful poem appear in due time.


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Listen to the Spotify Music Playlist

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+  Are you on Spotify already? Simply click the image above
+  Not yet on Spotify?
Click here to learn how to set up your account.
You can can use Spotify for free (just close your ears during the commercials) or get a paid account.

Gleaners Coming Home 1904 Sir George Clausen 1852-1944 Presented by C.N. Luxmoore 1929
Gleaners Coming Home, Sir George Clausen 1852–1944, 1904, Oil paint on canvas, 927 x 1226 mm, Collection Tate
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Reflections on the Theme of Coming Home

  • What is home?
  • Where is home?
  • When your house is gone where is home?
  • When you think about your childhood home, what do you feel?
  • When going home how does that make you feel?
  • What is the country you feel at home?
  • What does home looks like? Can you find an image that represents it?
  • Do you feel at home in your body?
  • Do you feel at home in your mind?
  • What do you think is home for your parents or older relatives?
  • Is there a time, a place, or moment where you feel truly at home?
  • Did you ever had the feeling of ‘Coming Home’.
  • Imagine you are a 8 year old girl from … (make up a place, real or imaginary) where is your home? How would you feel when you come home?
  • When you’re outside, in public transport, super market, start fantasizing about ‘the Home’ people are heading to (or leaving) what would it be, do you think it’s a happy place. Or not. What color is their front door?[dt_gap height=”10″ /]

Listen to the Soul Whisper
– Find a quiet space
– Get your sketchbook and pencil
– You need around 15 to 25 minutes for this exercise.
– Click on the drawing to start listening

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