Aurochs Moon: A History of Home

A History of Home, acrylic combined media on canvas, 36" x 48", part of the Terra Incognita series

Ahhh, home sweet cave. I wanted to do an imaginary landscape that was like a child’s drawing, an aboriginal painting of mythic locations, a bright map with line engravings of the entry to inner worlds.  This painting, originally titled “Aurochs Moon”, shows various signs upon entry to the cave or just inside it.  The Aurochs was a cow almost as large as small elephant. Aurochs are the bulls and cows of the Paleolithic cave art.  They lived on until the 16th century in the forests of Eastern Europe, where the last one was eliminated as hunting game for the rich.  A variety has been genetically re-bred in France as Heck Cattle

This painting, one of a triptych called High Pastures, transformed several times.  I wanted to keep the heat of the bright orange underneath, to do a map with impossible colors.  You’ll see transfers of line drawings over all, petroglyphic elements using the paint as a wall that lets images emerge from another realm.

Why the cave? I think the cave is our brain dreaming, our true home, the hearth that underlies any location we happen, temporarily, to live. The alternate name for this one is “A History of Home.”  My own history of homes is a long one. I’ve lived in rural California (Los Banos and Merced), urban California(San Francisco Mission District, pre-gentrification),  coastal California (Santa Cruz), and now northern California (Santa Rosa).  Urban Hawaii (Honolulu and Waikiki) and rural Hawaii, Na’alehu near South Point on the Big Island.  Munich and Freiburg, Germany, and southern Norway. Bangalore, South India.  When I lived there it only had four million people, but now it has topped five million— definitely urban.

Wherever I went, there I was.  Each place had a dream at its centre, realized or not. And you, dear reader? What’s your history of home?

4 comments

  1. Here I am in my second home — no, third. My first home was an incubator in Kaiser hospital. Then I went home to El Cerrito. Then we moved to Kensington. That’s where I am now again, after a series of homes in Isla Vista, Ireland, North Carolina and San Francisco (Mission and Haight districts). Not only do I live in my childhood home, but in my childhood bedroom. My mother shares the house and my little brother is due to move back in a year or so — anachronistic, no?

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