‘b.Home’ is intended as a good humoured and intelligent response to the Delacombe Wetalands Sculpture Project, something to bring a smile, create a sense of wonder and belonging, and contribute to a sustainable ecology.
At a distance ‘b.Home’ resembles the quintessential figure of a house evoking the notion of ‘home’, and establishing a sense of being and place. Suspended over the water on a single column ‘b.Home’ also reminds us of a typical letter box, a physical reminder of place, a signifier of identity and belonging, and the traditional physical conduit through which our homes are registered as a part of a community. At a smaller scale the home can be seen to be made of many parts, each one an individual birdhouse, which in themselves visibly celebrate the notion of home and the specificity of place.
Wetlands have the potential to be incredibly biologically diverse ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Birds are an essential part of this community that contribute to its health, whilst simultaneously providing spectacle and a visual record of change over time. The provision of safe amenity to support birdlife has the potential to act as a catalyst to the sustainable future of the wetland as an important aspect of water management in Delacombe’s historical flood plain.
Solar cells located on specific individual birdhouse roofs generate renewable energy to power large glowing lights within ‘b.Home’. During normal daylight hours the work can be seen to be covered in surrealist clouds borrowing from Rene Magritte’s work that challenges us to question what we see and what we think we know so that seemingly familiar objects become united in a single poetically disciplined image. At dawn, dusk, and at night, the internal glow produces multiple states of being animating and enriching the public space to become a lantern reflecting over the water, generate a sense a sense of wonderment, contribute to public amenity, and ultimately act as a beacon to, and of, home.
Within our neighbourhoods we often find places that become as important as our own homes and are therefore important to the formation of a sense of being and community. These contribute to the identity and wellbeing of place, become landmarks, and provide a focus of local pride. In some way they become our second-homes, or in this case ‘bHome’.