Upon returning to my home, I have experienced a dueling version of my reality — a memory of somewhere I knew before, juxtaposed with what exists today. There is comfort in the familiarity of place, but in my absence I become self-conscious. How do we carry truths made only of memories?When we leave a home, to what do we belong besides the land?
Recently having left the place I grew up ignited interest in my grandmother’s transition between two formative locations, which she made around my same age. Her home exists beyond the one I left. Her life before me — before her own children — was north central South Dakota, along the Missouri River on the Cheyenne River Reservation. She lived and breathed the prairie that now only survives in her mind. I exist somewhere between our shared home and my grandmother’s memory of our ancestral one. Informed by geographical features, architectural structure, colonial boundaries, and empty space, this work speaks to the recollections my grandmother has shared with me. Her sensory observations and notes on our family’s movements appear alongside my own remembered experience, the landscape I carry, and the imagined scenes that populate my reality. These conditions manifest through color, form, and material, to create a collaborative environment that challenges my understanding of place.