Who is Rocio?
Rocio was born in Lima, Peru, and lived there by the sea until she was 24 years old. She still misses the imposing presence of that great ocean, even today.
Her parents often took Rocio to museums and art galleries. And to churches brimming with images of saints, flowers and ornaments. Rocio also found the artwork of the pre-Inca cultures intriguing as a child: the colourful cloaks, the storytelling ceramics and the magnificent sculptures.
The semi-clandestine visits to makeshift cinemas also left their impression. It was also her very first encounter with mysterious Europe.
At 22, she took a course in analogue photography; it would become the first of her many creative passions. Theatre, film and illustration soon followed. And writing was something she had done since childhood. Rocio applies and blends different artistic forms.
Rocio has her say
In my altarpiece, you can see the journey back and forth to my Lima, in Peru.
But what does a trip to your home-town take out of a person?
You first detach yourself from one reality, only to fall into the arms of another. Your streets, your gardens, the sea breeze on your skin, also your family, your friends, eating together. The sense that you are simultaneously stronger, bigger AND richer, that you have found your balance.
To then let go again. Detach yourself. Depart
Back in Belgium, you have to grieve for a while, reset yourself. With teardrops in your heart, find your balance, stand upright again.
As a mother, I would like to understand homesickness better so I can explain it to my children. I would like to embark on that quest and inspire others to commit to a quest of their own.
What is homesickness?
Homesickness is difficult to see and cannot be measured. You can't dissect it on the examination table. Homesickness is immeasurable in size, depth, distance and time.
As a person from an immigrant background, homesickness is always at the forefront. Every migrant or refugee misses home, sometimes it is the sky, sometimes the mountains, sometimes the sea. Whether it is relationships left behind, the smells of food, the sounds in the street. The feeling is different for everyone, yet there are similarities; everyone is looking for a way to ease homesickness.
When we can understand homesickness better, we can understand each other better, too.