Artists share their interpretations of ‘home’ in new Cranbrook exhibition

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published January 26, 2022

 Jessika Edgar’s “Get Into The Light Where You Belong” is among the 30 pieces from artists with connections in Detroit.

Jessika Edgar’s “Get Into The Light Where You Belong” is among the 30 pieces from artists with connections in Detroit.

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Twenty artists from the Detroit area will be unpacking the complexities of “home” in the Cranbrook Art Museum exhibition “Homebody.” The exhibition will be open Jan. 26-June 19. 

The exhibition includes about 30 works of art that vary in medium and style, including photography and sculpture work. Each piece contributes to the overall theme of home in its own way.

Assistant Curator of Collections Kat Goffnett said part of the inspiration for this exhibition came from her personal journey of defining the concept of home for herself. 

“I really wanted to look to art for the answers for how other people were establishing boundaries of home and thinking about it for themselves,” Goffnett said. “It really is a complicated word, when you think about it.”

All of the artists in the exhibition have a connection to Detroit. One of the artists, Dessislava Terzieva, is a Cranbrook Academy alumna from the Class of 2021. 

“Giving it that local focus is not only interesting to our audience, but on a really personal level for me, as somebody from the area, to learn a little bit more from the people from Detroit about what home means to them.”

Terzieva has two pieces in the exhibition that investigate what home is. She said she considers Detroit her home, but she and her family immigrated to America from Bulgaria when she was young. With the exception of 2020, she visits family in Bulgaria every year.

“A lot of my work tends to be about this in-between space of two different cultures, two different homes and two different languages,” Terzieva said. “I think about all the similarities and then all the things that kind of get lost in the translation of the two.”

When she could not leave the country during the pandemic, she began creating what she calls portals in her art as a way to bridge the gap between her two homes. In one of her pieces in “Homebody” she creates the illusion of a portal using washbasins, representing the old rural tradition of doing laundry by hand using a washbasin. She immortalizes the objects by elevating it and securing it with resin. 

“It is taking this very ephemeral feminine labor act and then immortalizing it to be this beautiful piece of art that people hang on a wall,” Terzieva said. “It was kind of my way of, like I said, bridging those gaps between ideas and the juxtaposition of lifestyles and turning it into this new object.”

Terzieva is also showing her piece “Physics of Sorrow” in “Homebody.” This is a piece that holds emotional weight as well as starts the conversation about the cultural differences in the significance of materials, such as plastic bags, in America and Bulgaria. 

“That piece specifically is taking an everyday sight from city life and putting it on a white wall. It’s kind of immortalizing and turning an everyday event into an object that can be discussed,” Terzieva said.

Goffnett said she is excited about having the opportunity to present each of these artists’ work to the public, and that the works have the power to start meaningful conversations. 

“I look forward to presenting to artists whose work I feel is so important to thinking about the concept of home but also how that applies identity and belonging and constructing spaces for ourselves,” Goffnett said. 

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