Home Place

Home Place is all about change; changes that affect our past, our present and our future. Home Place is a coalescence of universal symbols from a variety of times, cultures and beliefs. These symbols are alive but will vary in importance at different times in each of our lives. The most obvious is the structure atop the hill. The portal structure at the centre is designed along the lines of the post and beam style of building used by the early settlers of this area. This structure, in its entirety, is called Home Place because what we now know as Durham was at one time known as "The Home District". The remainder of the structure is comprised of twenty hydro poles, in acknowledgement of this year being the 2000 millennium year. The pole arrangement is based on two intersecting circles. The circle is completeness. It is an entity in its entirety. The coming together of more than one circle entity for a common purpose is community. This is mirrored be the coming together of many poles, twenty, to create the form. This arrangement of the poles is, also, reminiscent of the yin and yang, the duality, balance and homeostasis.

The poles grow in height towards the centre acknowledging our individual growth as well as the growth, evolution and prosperity of our community. There are seven faces carved into the structure. They represent the male and female, the young and old and the different races of man on this earth that have come to call Pickering, Ontario Canada home. The uncarved poles are reminders of the host of trees, which adorned this land. It is amidst these that early settlers carved out their furniture, their homes and, indeed, their lives. The two metal circles (born of the fire) on the second pole in each circle reflect the addition of our own visage to those of the community who have come before us. The numeral seven represents good fortune and the coming together of the forces of heaven (the trinity… #3) as well as body, mind and spirit and the forces of earth (the alchemist 4 ….fire, earth, wind and water as well as North, East, West and South). On the Eastern side of the portal is an ear of corn, a native symbol of nurturing and welcoming. Close inspection will reveal that each kernel is a human face. The face of the young female on the Western side is a European symbol of home and welcoming. It is the face of Vesta, the Greek goddess of the hearth and home. It is in honour of Vesta that we call the entrance room to our homes the Vestibule. These two images acknowledge the coming together of European and Native cultures.
With the exception of the post and beam portal, the entire structure is created from recycled materials. This includes the hill on which the structure situated.

The Portal

The Portal is seen by different cultures as different things. The most common is that it is a transition point between two spaces. This can be physical space or psychological or spiritual space. It is the latter two that most inspired me in this project.

The Home Place Portal may be used as a reference to changes that visitors decide to make within their own lives. Visitors might sit on the Western side to meditate on items that they'd like to see removed from their lives. Visitors would sit on the Eastern side to meditate on those items they'd like to see added to their lives. The idea here is based on the belief that the setting sun takes away or removes undesired items from one's life while rising sun adds or brings into one's life those items that are desired. No one need know why the visitor is reposed at the Home Place Portal. The visitor is alone with his or her own thoughts, beliefs and aspirations.

______________________Dorsey James

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