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  • Mareena Francis

Finding Home in Art

I have long believed that every piece of art is someone babbling. An extension of the artist's soul, rather than mere expression. In all our talking over each other, interruptions, and distractions, the pause that art gives us is miraculous. The art that makes us stop, takes us in, and gives us a shared dwelling. A home, no matter how transient. A home that lives in us just as much as we do in it.

Visual Art

The great artists bend and light and colour to give us places to rest in. We are given pause and reflections of ourselves in these pieces. They invite us to find a home in another’s subconscious.

Vincent Van Gogh. Image Credit

When a home is built, inviting you in to be part of the colours.

OVA East: Finding Home Exhibition by Baltimore United Viewfinders Collective. 2017

When strangers gather to share ideas of homes, discovering a new one in turn.

Social Distancing in the Mission by Jennifer M Potter. 2020. Image Credit.

A picture of our homes in such times, with bubbles of joy that hang just within reach

Cape Cod Morning by Edward Hopper. 1950.

The artists of time long gone, who give us company in our shaken up homes.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, 1503. Image Credit.

How could a face so familiar not be a home?

Number 1A,1948 by Jackson Pollock. Image Credit.

It first evokes a memory of the mess of a home over 7 billion of us dwell in, but could it also be a picture of all our intermingled homes?

Sebastian Eriksson. Image Credit.

Perhaps not just the ever-deepening chasm within us, but also the depth of our gravity. If nothing, we must make a home within ourselves.

The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso. 1903-1904. Image Credit.

If humanity wanted a home, I would direct it here. Withering, hunched and scraped away by the world and the years, humanity still insists on the music.

Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Rembrandt. 1647. Image Credit.

I’m not sure what the right words are for home, but these colours and shapes tell me that this is perhaps the oldest definition of home that existed. A warmth that huddles together.

After the Rain by David Ralph. 2009. Image Credit.

The artist considers home as a travelling entity. Could it be anything else to cheerful nomads such as us?

Up and Up by Coldplay. Image Credit.

When a music video gives you the picture of home you so crave you could live in. A desperate reimagining of our dream of home.

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze watched by 19th and 21st century visitors at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts. Image Credit.

When participants of all eras of time, can exist within the same piece of art. When our imagination wills a home that is constant.

Anurag Kumar 2014. Image Credit.

This is it. This is what the veins of my country look like. It is in these colours that our home is draped.

Beatniks by Bert Stern. 1960. Image Credit.

Maybe this is what home can be. People and a cat, flowers and a mattress, freedom in your stance against a mess you can own.

Nimbus, Green Room by Berndnaut Smilde. 2013. Image Credit.

What if an impossible coexistence, no matter how temporary, is the perfect home for humans like us?


Music is a home that allows us to exist within it, over and over, with an assurance of what it will unfold into. It is a set of notes whose placement becomes predictable- worn in and familiar. Much like a blanket we can sink under, music we love protects us in its world. It gives us a harmony we can live in tune with and words we can cling to as they lie inscribed within us.

The Written Word

Books are homes we are invited into. It is upto us to give those books new life, each time it is opened. The words are dormant until we enter their home and get comfortable. The story chooses to envelop us, after we have chosen it. In their worlds and families and values of existence, we find pieces and reflections of ourselves.

  • Little Women by Louisa M Alcott

  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

  • The Bell Jar by Silvya Plath

  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

  • Matilda by Roald Dahl

  • The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

  • Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger

  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

  • Home by Rebecca Lawhorne

  • Adrift by Alice Tao

  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss


  • ‘Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.’ by Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind.

  • ‘It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly.’ by Aldous Huxley

  • ‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.’ by Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

  • ‘So do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’ by J.R.R.Tolkien

  • ‘All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.’ by Mitch Albom

  • ‘Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.’ by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

  • ‘Hogwarts was the first and best home he had known. He and Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys, had all found home here.’ by J.K.Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  • ‘No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not.’ by Sally Rooney, Normal People

  • I defy you, stars.’ by William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

  • ‘There are enough ballrooms in you to dance with everyone you’ll ever love.’ by Laura Lamb Brown-Lavolie, On This the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic, We Reconsider the Buoyancy of the Human Heart

Has art ever been a home to you? Where have you settled into, finding a reflection or perhaps belonging? Tell us.

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