Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Salvation Art

I had an opportunity, completely involuntarily and independently of my will, to build and rebuild what is going to be my home three times in my life. And when I'm talking about building a home, I'm not talking about building a fancy house with an architect and a designer on my side. I'm talking about building a feeling of home after having lost it once for historical reasons and another time for political reasons. I promise I'll explain it all to you one day when I'm ready.
My first home was a very humble rental, I can remember exactly how it was furnished and decorated, but at that time it didn't matter at all. What did matter was that I was madly in love with my husband and so over happy to live with him under one roof after four years of being together. Then we had our first child and two years later our second. I still remember how impatient I was to fill that fourth chair around our little table.
Our happiness was brutally interrupted by an (now) historical event in 1992 and we were forced to leave our home with nothing but our lives - yes, we were lucky.
Then we were installed in Germany for six and a half years, working hard to build from scratch a sense of home for children, to protect them and to give them them a happy life. Tragically, for the political reasons this time, in 1998 we were not allowed to stay in Germany any longer  and we were forced to search for a new country to call home.
Since 1998, we have been living in Canada. It wasn't easy at all, starting a new life from scratch again, learning a new language, a new culture, having to acclimate to the new weather conditions. But from the first day on, I continued to dream about building a home for my little family, I wanted my children to be able to play in their own yard. We started by learning a language first (French, imagine!) then finding a job and saving every penny in order to realize our dream. It took us six years, many sleepless nights and lots of tears to get there. I didn't know we could be so strong...
A hell of an introduction for what I was going to show you today! I can't change it, it's my life...
I thought often about things that make me, make us feel home. Each time when I was confronted with an empty space, aside from getting the basic furniture, I went and bought large plants and art for our walls. This two elements gave me instantly the feeling that I was already there for a long time.
Arriving in Quebec, Canada, I discovered the Salvation Army shops and, to my surprise, I was able to find many original paintings and prints for a couple of dollars only! And so I started my Salvation Art collection that didn't stop to grow since.

This was my first one. It's an original print named "Flammes" ('Flames' in English), 4/5 prints signed by an artist named Marc Martel in 1972. I really liked it so I readily payed 19$ for it even if the glass was broken.

I still like it very much. It hangs in my dining room with two other pieces. I'll continue to present you the rest of my Salvation Art originals collection. Many of the pieces that I found are made by renowned artists and are worth much, much more than I payed for them.


Mama's Girl said...

This piece is even more beautiful in real life! Cant wait to see the other ones on your blog instead of home! :)

Frenchy said...

Really nice post.
It's unfortunate to notice how kids (specially immigrant kids) of the new generation do not take time to reflect on the sacrifices that their/our parents have made in order for us to have an opportunity to build a better life and find happiness.

To the moms and dads who are struggling for their families on a daily basis, I salute you.

Yasmine said...

@Frenchy: Now you made me cry! Thank you so much for your considerate comment!

Sirocco said...

This is such a fantastic idea! It's amazing what you can get at Salvation Army shops (we call them Hospice her in South Africa), or vintage/second-hand shops.

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