At Home with Jane Sloss

I sometimes marvel at the serendipities that arise when making art. It was after I conceived of this project about home, that my partner and I decided to move in together. That decision took me away from Chicago, to the northern suburbs, to accommodate our commutes in opposite directions. This meant a move away from the home in which I had lived longer than anywhere else, having moved frequently through childhood and early adulthood. That is the home depicted in this painting. I was intrigued by the opportunity that this series offered to consider the idea of home as I went about the process of making and sharing a new home.

Specifically, I have chosen to paint the garden that I cultivated in the backyard of the three-flat in Andersonville, which I shared with roommates for six years For the first several years that I lived there, I did not do any work in the backyard, but I noticed a dramatic transformation in the degree to which I felt connected to the place once I planted things in the ground. I also built a large picnic table, we strung globe lights and the backyard became a special place to share meals with friends and host parties. I also enjoyed the solace and derived comfort from the quiet time I spent in that place, watering and tending the garden.

Special thanks to Stefano Vita for use of his music in the audio recording.