A common misconception of homelessness teeters around the definition of what it is and what it really means. This piece of art stimulates the viewer to interact with the words and definitions that are scribed all over the bench and challenge them to not only see the two sides of defining homelessness but taking their own position and thoughts on the issue.
This sculpture, called “Definition”, is a concrete bench with a concrete oversized dictionary lying open on one side of the bench. The dictionary would be a part of the bench that wouldn’t be removable and would be open to the word ‘homeless’ with its definition next to it. There would be other words and definitions listed on the pages as well but to make the homeless definition prominent, it would be a significantly larger font size. On the bench itself, quotes from social activists and popular articles on this topic and their views of the definition of homeless and homelessness would be engraved horizontally covering the entire surface area of the bench. The sculpture would be located in the open area in between the Food for Thought café and the campus library at the University of Washington – Bothell. It would roughly be about 6 feet long and 4 feet high, being able to seat 2 to 3 people.
The issue of homelessness can be a very controversial one and many people have very different views on it, my motivation came from the complexity and different aspects that have to do with the controversy, specifically in its definition. There are countless definitions of what being homeless is and what homelessness means, I like this topic because it challenges you to think about what your own definition of homelessness is and create your own visual picture of what it is to you. It also opens the door to see other definitions and sides of what it is or may be to expand your idea of what homelessness is.
Whenever I’m looking at artwork, I like to dig into the meaning of what the purpose of motive the piece is trying to convey or what the artist is trying to say through his art. I really enjoy art where you are able to personally experience it up close and really get a sense of the statement behind it. When creating my piece I really wanted to go along that path as well and make something that would provoke viewers to really try and engage in the piece and develop some sort of conception about what they think the piece can mean and their feelings about it and about the issue.