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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Artist’s Tiny Home Sets Example During Climate Change Arts Festival

L.A. artist created home from recycled materials and through it spreads the message of the eco-responsibility.

Dominique Moody is an L.A. artist whose commitment to her carbon footprint took her work out of the studio and onto the road.  Over the course of three years, this artist found discarded pieces of plywood and scrap metal and began to build.  Instead of one of her typical creations, Moody began work on something new, a home.

She constructed the Nomad, a 7-by-20-foot home fixed to a trailer, so that she could set up wherever she wanted.  Inside, she custom crafted the insulated walls from recycled materials and created windows from old washing machines.  “As an assemblage whole practice is to use something that has been discarded,” says Moody.  By reusing and reducing her impact, she connected to both the planet and her ancestral past.

“It hits so many areas of interest, there’s the affordability, the economic element, there is the aesthetic of living small and then, of course, there’s the conscience concerns of the climate and use of materials,” says Moody.

She did this too as her eyesight began to fail to her.  Moody now is legally blind, but knows every inch of her home by heart.

Her current residence is on the lawn of California African American Museum in Exposition Park as part of Vision LA ‘15.  The Climate Action Arts Festival, is a citywide collection of art exhibits, concerts, and film screenings that all highlight the necessity to curb climate change.  On Tuesday, the festival began with galleries opening across L.A., including Moody giving tours of her eco-friendly home.

This event coincides with the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference, where international leaders are converging in Paris in an attempt to find a solution to the global climate change threat.

Across the field where the Nomad was parked, another tiny house sat in front of the California Science Center.  This one was filled the latest in eco-friendly technologies and housed “innovative plastic building products” that reduce energy use and therefore save money.  It was filled with iPads that explained the process of how it was created, a contrast to the home handmade home, that was the Nomad. 

Soon, Moody plans to take her home on the road.  She will be travelling across the country and creating art from other discarded materials that she finds along the way.  

“Shelters are our largest expressive form of creativity and we need to be able to have them function as more than just physical shelter, they also have to function in the ways that speak about culture, that speak about what we’re thinking about, what’s important to us and how we’re going to define the future.”

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