What images do you conjure up to convey the idea of home? A purring cat, a pile of books, a cup of coffee and a sunlit window seat? A verdant tree festooned with glistening mushrooms and tiny wooden door cracked open just a bit to reveal the warmth within? Or how about a modern living space with a small business located on the first level, a green roof with bonsai garden on top, and a wall of falling water? A fort out of baskets and pottery where tiny almost invisible creatures take care of daily necessities? A room neatly organized to resemble the living quarters of a boat, above which you enjoy a glass of wine and the view with a loved one?
Whether fantastical or real, the “Tiny Homes” exhibit—on view through Friday, October 21—at Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis, confirms and challenges all of our ideas about what home is and could be. Eight illustrators and designers from around the world have created prints (available for purchase through an online shop) ranging from the personal to the universal, the futuristic to the historical, the natural and the inorganically fabricated.
German artist Lara Pauluseen’s “Old Home, New Home,” for example, encapsulates the romance of an old house in the woods, while Philadelphia artist Heather Franzen Rutten’s “Our New Home” is fanciful look at a family of cartoon raccoons delighting in their leaf-strewn abode: a bright yellow VW bug abandoned in the woods. Cats are ubiquitous, of course. Yinfan Huang, from New York, has drawn a desk beneath a window, on which is perched a black cat gazing at the out of doors. While Montreal artist Philippe Poirier’s “Weekend at Home” shows a young man taking a break from his laptop to view the gorgeous mountains outside his French doors.
There’s a boat on top of which a woman serenely writes. Snow-covered mountains are contained within a prism-like terrarium. A chipmunk delights in a canopy strung beneath two beer bottles. A bus on a beach emanates a zen serenity. Another print places a variety of classic gable-roofed houses beside watercolors of flowers.
In other words, home is something that dwells in the mind and heart; it’s not only bricks and mortar, lumber and nails, landscaping and décor. And as this exhibition delightfully illustrates, “home” is subjective and means something different to all of us.
By Camille LeFevre
“Dream House” by Mirelle Ortega
“Our New Home” by Heather Franzen Rutten