The word nostalgia is derived from two Greek roots, nostos (homecoming) and algos (ache). Nostalgia is a desire to return to one’s place of origin. Svetlana Boym (2001) defines it as “a longing for a home that no longer exists or has never existed. Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own phantasy.”
My parents immigrated to Boorloo (Perth, Western Australia) before I was born, leaving their complex web of relations to create our little nuclear family. Living overseas prevented me from developing close relationships with my grandparents and extended family. The disconnection from family and cultural heritage has led me to contemplate where I belong. I wonder if I travelled to the faraway lands where my ancestors originated, would it feel like coming home?
‘Landscape Constructions’ explores the geography of my imagined homeland. Romantic images of landscapes, sourced from souvenir guides, are overlayed with intricate hand-cut and folded geometric pattern reminiscent of quilting design. The relief forms float eerily in the sky. The works reference retro-futuristic film and allude to a sense of alienation to the landscape, and the experience of feeling like an outsider in the place I call home.
Boym, S. (2001). The Future of Nostalgia. Basic Books.
Photography by Robert Frith