the native and the migrant

2016, Second Home, online exhibition, Garland magazine

In a post-modern point of view a nomad is a person who can be described in neither space nor time, by contrast with a person living a sedentary existence who can be defined in space and time (1). For the last thirty years, I have lived a nomadic lifestyle where I have had two homes, if not physically, at least in my heart and mind – one in my country of origin, France, and one abroad. As a young adult, I was considering France as my primary home, and the second one would be in the other location where I would go and live for some time – a foreign country, another continent. As life went on, the experience reversed to the opposite. Having lived most of the last 18 years in Australia, I progressively identified this continent as being my primary home, and France became the second one. For many years I was torn with the idea that at some point I would have to choose between one and the other, as if migrating to a new place as an adult you could completely erase the culture and language of the country you came from. Today I have accepted with great relief that I don’t have to choose, I can have one home and a second one. I can be Australian and French.

As an artist, I enjoy this nomadic lifestyle according to the seasons and times of the year. From place to place I hunt for inspiration, I gather materials and images. I collect fruit stones and pods, discarded materials, found objects and photographs that I repurpose and upcycle into wearable and visual art.

The second home is always the one where I am not, the empty one, the one in my dreams, that is waiting for me to comfortably move back in, with the same pleasure and sense of relief that one feels putting on an old familiar jacket.