One Home: Parsons Design and Technology MFA Thesis 2021
"My mother would always boast about how long we lived in Bremerton. Three years. Well, just around two and a half. But that’s practically unheard of in the military. For most of my childhood, houses came in one and a half to two yearlong episodes. A constant shift of scenery where I began to recognize places through how they were different, not by what was same. In retrospect, our stay in Bremerton only deviated by a few months. Time that is now so inconsequential. But in the relentless movement from house to house, something about Bremerton felt different. A breath. A reprieve. Somehow it felt like home."
One Home is an illustrated novella exploring childhood, memory, and loss. Based on my own experience of constantly moving throughout my childhood due to the military, I explore how we remember lost places and the ways in which we reconstruct them through memory. First inspired by a piece written in 2016, I explore the memory of "A House on a Hill," a house in Bremerton, Washington, where I lived during the early 2000s. In reconstructing the memories of the surroundings and rooms of the house, I explore how so many of our memories are found in moments. How we respond to them is through the ongoing narrative weaving them together.
As the story progresses, we begin to question the reliability of the narrator and a growing sense of unrest. In the recollection of what should be fond childhood memories, the truth of fracturing relationships and mental illness begins to encroach on formally fond memories.
In the second stage of the book, the narrator revisits these moments once fondly remembered. The very house that is described no longer exists. The depicted rooms are, in fact, reconstructions of other houses the narrator has lived in. Recollections of a perfect home are challenged when the narrator reveals that the shifting behavior of the narrator's mother declining mental health.
One Home grapples with how we reconstruct and cope with childhood and the lasting effects of loss and trauma.