Casser Maison (breaking the house)* refers to a French-Canadian end of life ritual of clearing a house before entering a care home. Home becomes interchangeable; possessions transferable. Could this shift, experienced by many at the end of life, help us to imagine a more sustainable way to live on our planet? Experimenting with a bricolage of observational drawing and painting, collecting and combining, Casser Maison considers ideas of home and nostalgia as expressed through the rituals of breaking or leaving a house.
Casser Maison also investigates ‘home’ in terms of its relationship to landscape. Wild places enact continual change, illustrating processes of deep time: revealing human vulnerability. Objects found and created here connect us with history; yet mark specific moments in the present. Does this connection constitute ‘home’? As I engage with landscape, working outdoors: walking, observing, documenting, collecting Casser Maison re-contextualises key areas of my practice in particular observational drawing and painting.
This project develops ideas from a previous project called Gyre, which used found objects, photography and automatic drawing to consider how we discard objects once important to us and the impact this ‘collective forgetting’ has on the environment.
*I first came across the term Casser Maison in a paper by Jean-Sébastien Marcoux (no relation) The ‘Casser Maison’ Ritual: Constructing the Self by Emptying the Home
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