Artist's remarkable tiny home tells a profound life story (Video)

Dominique Moody
© Dominique Moody

We see a lot of spectacular tiny houses gracing these pages. But once in a while, we come across a truly remarkable home, accompanied with a remarkable story. That's the case with American artist Dominique Moody, who designed and built much of her tiny home herself. Nicknamed the NOMAD, an acronym for "Narrative, Odyssey, Manifesting Artistic Dreams", it's full of whimsical touches that highlight Moody's incredible journey as both an artist and as a human being who's in touch with her personal truths. Check out this segment from KCET's Nic Sha Kim, touring Moody's unique tiny home, much of it made from salvaged materials.

Dominique Moody© Dominique Moody
Dominique Moody© Dominique Moody

Fifty-seven-year-old Moody herself is known for her complex and rich "assemblage" artworks, which are made from recycled materials. So it makes sense that her own home on wheels is made in the same fashion, with a meticulous and creative skill that transforms junk into harmonious works of art. There are remnants of wood, architectural woodwork, washing machine glass doors turned into windows, salvaged metal reshaped and patinated into a subtly beautiful facade. Spinning above the entry is a recycled world globe, housed in a recycled bubble window.

Dominique MoodyKCET/Video screen capture
Dominique MoodyKCET/Video screen capture
Dominique MoodyKCET/Video screen capture
Dominique Moody© Dominique Moody
Dominique Moody© Dominique Moody

Moody's own life is a work of art: as she relates in the interview, she's the daughter of an army officer, born in Germany, and has lived in over 40 locations all over the world. This nomadic life of constant movement shaped much of Moody's sense of self and belonging, prompting her to identify with people on the fringe and other cultures on the move. What is also remarkable is that Moody has macular degeneration: her central eyesight has been slowly fading since her 20s, and she can only see with her peripheral vision. However, this was an important life lesson for her; instead of self-pity or despair, she realized something transformative: "I need to 'show' what I see inside," she says. "What I had inside is internal memory -- tactile, sensory. Sight is not vision. My vision got much stronger."

Dominique MoodyKCET/Video screen capture
Dominique Moody© Dominique Moody

Completed in 2015 after three years of work, Moody characterizes her home also as kind of a studio turned inside out -- she moves it wherever she needs to, creating artworks with found objects at each site. Here, Moody takes the artist's path of freedom to its fullest, inhabiting that in-between area that allows her creativity to flourish, without being tied down to a system that imposes self-limiting rules.

Moody believes that small homes, which have a rich history in the US and abroad, have much to teach us. In living smaller and more efficiently, she feels that her life is also aligning with the needs of the Earth:

We're talking about a housing crisis and shelters and affordable living space ... and at the same time we're talking about climate change and having a smaller carbon footprint. We can [use] the past to look at the future and therefore be in the vanguard of that.

We know that we have a planet that is in jeopardy -- that it is ill. We also know that we are not healthy either. So it starts in the home. If we can get healthy in the home, we can get healthy in the planet.

Dominique Moody© Dominique Moody
Dominique Moody© Dominique Moody

More over at KCET, LA Times and Dominique Moody.

Tags: Artists | Less Is More | Living With Less | Small Spaces

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