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This Place Called Home: An Artist’s Reflections

Published in: This Place Called Home. Mary Modeen, Editor and author. Douglas, Isle of Man: Manx National Heritage. 2006. A 104pp book, in full colour, published with additional funding by Carnegie Trust for Scottish Universities and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design Research, University of Dundee. ISBN- 0-901106-53-4

The first  awareness of “home” as a distinction for people on the Isle of Man occurs in a manner similar to a young child drawing an apple: a line goes around what is “apple”, keeping it separate from all that isn’t apple.  In the same way, as soon as the boat leaves the harbour, the plane leaves the airport, or the child contemplates the distant horizon from the shore, he or she knows already what it is to be quintessentially Manx.  The line has been drawn. Invisibly.

An island insists on its definitions: the geography of water and land are incontrovertible.  For an island that is also a nation, more than shorelines defines distinctiveness. The Manx pound, the three-legged triskele flapping smartly over public buildings and the annual TT races whizzing past attest to a people who are justifiably proud of their island nation and its modern as well as ancient legacies.

But what makes it uniquely home?  Is it the happenstance of birth on the island that defines a home? Or is it elected as, say, one is born with brown hair but can chose to have it coloured auburn?  The island has attracted incomers of all types -- English, Scottish and Irish in large numbers, and also those who were born further afield.  Is the island less home to them than the long-term residents by accident of birth?

Download document Download full paper (Word file 10pp 65k)

Download document Download full paper
(Word file 10pp 65k)