Sunday, September 26, 2010

MEDITATIONS: Hidden Cities

Transforming the cultural icon of dollhouse from Barbie’s fantasy homemaker abode into a sacred space representing complex interests and parts of Self, was a formidable task. The house is meant to suggest both relic and living archetype; physical manifestation and psychological/spiritual truth. 

 (left: facade, House of Psyche. 2010)


I often dream of houses with secret rooms and hidden spaces. On some level, this parallels my waking life as well as the “rooms” in my psyche. Like most people, I juggle the daily responsibilities of running a household and balancing relationships and work responsibilities. While maintaining a creative practice takes a significant amount of effort and discipline, it’s an endeavor that actually generates energy.

While working on the dollhouse, I had an intuitive feel for which “rooms” would represent the more public spaces and which ones were more privately occupied. While the antiquated exterior was easier to manifest, the interior spaces had a pace of their own. The process of sorting, elimination, and discernment in creating a sense of harmony in space is a process that allows for richness of color and texture while suggesting emptiness and possibility.

In “True Perception”, the scholar and artist Chogyam Trungpa writes:

Harmony has to be related to some sense of lusciousness or richness, That is one aspect of harmony. The other aspect is a sense of spaciousness and openness. The lusciousness almost has the qualities of a Jewish mother: it is plentiful, rich, and there is lots of stuff on the table, so to speak. The openness and spaciousness are like a Japanese home, where things are very sparse. There is no big furniture, no Victorian stuffed sofa, just mats. When you sleep, you sleep with a block of wood or even a stone as a pillow. So true harmony is the Jewish home and the Japanese home put together quite conveniently.

The first room completed was the library (left) which contains miniature hand-made books and maps. The empty chair sits in the middle of the room and contains a book open to a passage in the Koran. My daughter has lovingly coined the term “areas of controlled chaos” to describe the spaces in our home designated for creative activity. While I tend to be fairly organized and enjoy creating “empty” spaces, I find it impossible to generate creative energy in a space that remains too ordered.

(above: details, House of Psyche. 2010)

No comments:

Post a Comment