In these images of very small model houses I’m teasing at the notion that the house is a home. That our homes are a part of us in an organic way. Looking at these ‘homes’ in miniature, of plastic, from sky view, in isolation I feel as if in some way, the viewer is an observer into something that is artificial in the way we might see what a home really is or can be.
These miniature homes, rescued from an old toy box, dusty, slightly damaged, a bit out of focus enhances the abstract synthetic nature of these images. I feel they also reflect a theme of home as something commercial, as something artificial, that is isolating.
These images devoid of lawns, actual people, surrounding neighborhoods, sentimentality, might remind us that the sense of home is not in the structure in which we reside at all. Home is where the heart is?
Furthermore, given that I mention that these images lack sentimentality; for me these subjects, but not necessarily the photographs themselves, have a sentimental slant. Many years ago, I endured severe illness in childhood that left me with permanent injury. I was ‘home’ bound for the better part of a year when I should have been in middle school. During that time in isolation, in recovery, my parents gave me N scale model train kits so that I might have something creative to participate in.
These little houses I constructed from these kits. They might have been therapeutic at the time. I’m not sure. I think they just might be now when I look at them through that long lens of time and experience.
In developing this project I’ve been not only considering my own experience in detachment but cannot help but wonder where so many of our hearts reside.
Steven Duede is a fine art photographer, artist, designer and arts administrator living in Belmont, MA.
These and other works can be found at http://www.stevenduede.com