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Monday, June 9, 2014


Houses are our primeval nests. They are supposed to be special spaces where we rest, feel relaxed, enjoy the company of loved ones, withdraw from the social scene for a while, feel protected from inclement weather, dream, cry and, at times, welcome friends to share the intimacy of our dwellings. 

Copyright © 2014 Nancy Barra, "Bienvenido", Elqui Valley, Chile.

To have "a roof over our heads" is one of the most elemental human needs and conversely, to be homeless is one of the most desolate, devastating and insecurity provoking human experience. This is why to have our own "cave" is one of our precious dreams, no matter how it was made or if we rent it or own it. It does not matter how furnished it is or where it is located: It is just our house.

Copyright © 2008 Nancy Barra, "Entering the House"Český Krumlov, Czech Republic.  

Our house could be made of leftover wood boards and located on the side of a mountain...

Copyright © 2014 Nancy Barra, "Mountain Houses", Elqui Valley, Chile

... or it could be made of fabric wrapped around bamboo poles...

Copyright © 2014 Nancy Barra, "Tippi", Elqui Valley, Chile

... or it could be one of those houses whose windows connect us with nature and allow the sun rays to warm them up in the Patagonia winter...

Copyright © 2013 Eduardo Sanzana, "Patagonia Sunbathe", Patagonia, Chile

...or it could be a view of houses with red roofs in the medieval town of Chesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.

Copyright © 2008 John Zuman, "Red Roofs"Český Krumlov, Czech Republic.

.... or it could be a house with a story...

She was swimming in the ocean towards the coast and began to feel lost among the huge waves. She could not see the shoreline and kept swimming in a state of panic when she suddenly saw a house in the distance. It looked like an abandoned ark on top of the rocks. She just knew that she will climb those rocks and run towards it. She felt a sense of safety by looking at this old house with a porch, gleaming under the afternoon sun, offering her a welcome possibility to feel safe again.

"The Ark of Cape Ann", oil painting, 20" x 30" from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo

She approached the house. Her knees were bleeding from climbing the jagged and slippery rocks. The door was mysteriously open and the only sound was the black buoy bell hanging from the second floor porch. She shouted: "Hello! Anybody here?" several times. Then, she entered the house repeating the same call several times and when silence surrounded her, she slowly began to climb the stairs and opened a door that led her to the porch.

"The Porch of Cape Ann", oil on canvas, 36" x 24", from: Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo

She stood on the porch and looked at the horizon and saw the ocean in all its majesty and apparent serenity. Being there, in that empty house, looking at the ocean from the porch, she felt safe and inundated with an indescribable sense of beauty.

1 comment:

  1. Nancy, thank you for sharing your warm, humane vision of the world. You are a true artist.