Dreaming of Home

Dylan Wilde

While living a quarantined life, Dreaming of Home asks us to question our realities and the environments we inhabit, and in turn, dream of what an ideal world would be. Collaboration and inspiration through cohorts and community are now primarily found in the digital, losing the physical aspects of sharing space. As these public and private lives blend, what we know is distorted and in turn makes us think differently about our positions in the worlds we create. Despite the distance, we’re learning to reorient our lives as anxieties of uncertain futures arise. There is a queerness in uncertainty, highlighted through Queer Phenomenology, scholar Sara Ahmed suggests “risking departure from the straight and narrow makes new futures possible, which might involve going astray, getting lost, or even becoming queer” (p. 21). It is through us “becoming queer” that we can orient ourselves towards new horizons, where a vision of utopia is made tangible.

I’ve been searching for this utopia for some time and like most, I too have been “lost” during quarantine. Over the last year I was able to chart a new path through experimentation and failure, searching for “new futures” in the merging of environments through digital photographs and sculpture. With collaged and composited images, I mimic my painting practice; a colorfield, with domestic objects inserted into landscapes, a merging of worlds. Beyond walking our dogs, I’ve greatly reduced my time outside, however, I find myself dreaming of home even when I move through public spaces. There are connections between these environments, acquired through close observation and attention to the commonplace. New worlds are possible if we choose to make them.

This body of work looks at these connections and collapses them into a layered collage. What is in the background comes forward and like frames, windows and curtains, there are layers to every orientation. It was only when I got “lost” so to speak, that I was able to reorient myself and this body of work. Like Ahmed describes, “becoming reorientated, which involves the disorientation of encountering the world differently, made me wonder about orientation and how much of ‘feeling at home,’ or knowing which way we are facing, is about the making of worlds” (P. 20). It’s through these writings and experiments of image making and sculpture that I am learning to think of the future and how my artistic practice can help orient myself and others who interact with my work.