This week I attended the Merlino gallery to see Sheila Ann Rodriguez’s exhibit Uprooted. Rodriguez was most influenced in her work by her experience of having to constantly move homes due to her parent’s remarrying which left her with ambiguous towards what a real home was. What Rodriguez tried to show in her work was the eroding of a feeling of attachment to a home place. Rodriguez does this through drawing, painting, and weaving on wooden boards. Rodriguez believes that in this modern world it is historical and cultural conditions that are contributing to the erosion of the feeling of home.
At first glance Rodriguez’s pieces looked like pieces of a dock tangled with sea weed (to be fair, I go fishing a lot). The pieces turned out to be slabs of wood that have been painted with pictures of houses and fitted with fabric to resemble roots springing from under the house. After realizing what the pieces actually were, two questions came to mind, why does a house have roots? and why are the roots not rooted down? The answers that I came up with for these questions were that the roots were supposed to resemble some sort of connection but the fact that they were not rooted down meant that the connection was severed or never existed.
After reading the artist’s description of the pieces I realized that the roots springing from under the houses represented the feeling of a house being a home and the fact that they were uprooted meant that the feeling of a securely rooted feeling of home no longer exists today. This can be for many reason, one reason is because in today’s culture, people have a sort of lax morality towards getting married; thus, they happen to get married, divorced and remarried quite regularly. Another reason could be that, as Rodriguez pointed out, some people no longer view the home as a fixed location but something that is “flux, without permanence.”