Imagination sometimes requires shaking off the shackles of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin aptly wrote, “I shut my eyes in order to see.” Local artist Lucia Neare’s citywide art installation, There’s No Place Like Home, was a dancing, singing, ice-skating, frolicking, floating testament to Gauguin’s credo about imagination.
And while it may have taken an artist’s sixth sense to dream up this fanciful exhibit, the reality was an interactive sensory feast. Inspired and commissioned by Community Power Works with support from Seattle City Light 1% for Art Funds, and administered by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, There’s No Place Like Home brought together affable gnomes, a family of blue bears, a 13-foot Victorian house, and Seattleites of all ages to learn about conservation and home stewardship. Over three months, the Blue House was spotted in driving tours throughout Seattle neighborhoods, at farmers markets, and in four live musical performances.
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In creating There’s No Place Like Home, Lucia Neare closed her eyes, dreamt up a world of whimsy, and breathed life into her characters. Neare explains, “My relationship with home was…deepened through working with Community Power Works. While I was in their offices and workshops, I often heard the phrase ‘understanding your home.’ This struck a chord with me. To understand my home, I need to listen to what it is trying to tell me. This led me to wonder what a home might dream about.”
As Neare contemplated the dreams of the Blue House, she realized its aspirations were consistent with Community Power Works’ mission of energy efficiency. “There’s No Place Like Home is fueled by the idea that an ecologically sound future is the natural outgrowth of a culture of care. If we open ourselves to nurturing and care, this naturally extends to our homes, the community, and the environment. There’s No Place Like Home celebrates values of comfort, stewardship, and sustainability.”