Consensus findings in research on homelessness maintain that causes cover a broad spectrum including structural forces, personal histories, and individuals’ choices. Examples of each, respectively, include lack of affordable housing and foster care system regulations; natural or personal catastrophe, family breakup, and domestic abuse; and, substance abuse. Just as the homeless population is not homogeneous, neither are causes of the condition. And yet, all too often, people conclude irresponsible choices are the sole cause and, consequently, look away from the individuals and the problem. It has been proposed that a person’s conscious act of “not seeing” is supported by a subconscious recognition that if it weren’t for circumstance, he/she, too, could be on the streets.
Bubble Burst was created to inform or remind that homelessness often results from structural forces and personal histories, circumstances over which we often have no or little control / choice. The figures are of the same woman – at one time living comfortably but then subject to a drastic life disruption from an unexpected circumstance resulting in her homelessness. The figure in the bubble – Summer – is from Valentine Cameron Prinsep’s 1897 artwork pertinently titled At the First Touch of Winter Summer Fades Away.