It begins with restlessness, a symptomatic yearning to seek, gather and recollect obscured and sometimes hallucinatory memories and displaced histories. My art making process is a conduit for the performance of memory: psychological transition; re-construction and re-affirmation of self. The resulting art objects are ironic reminders of febrile attempts to counteract the side effect of time, of forgetting...
I am working on some pieces as an introductory exhibition/display for my new studio space. ( Yack Station opening 22 March 2014...hopefully I will be able to move in by then too!)
The working title for this exhibition/display is My precious (I remember). I am exploring the notion of memory as a precious, but fragile object, something we long to hold onto, but that inevitably shifts and changes, with every recollection and reconstruction in the present.
In this first piece, Mother, ( My precious... I remember) 2013, photographs of my mum when she was exactly the same age as I am now, and of myself at the age of 2 are reprinted on paper, coated in beeswax and hand stitched together with thread. Inside, are fragments of words and definitions cut from dictionaries. Behind the image of me are the words : "Babble...speak like a....chatter, idle talk...Babe... infant , child babe in S. Africa ...sifting diamonds..." and behind the image of my mum are the words..."Await...Awake, awaken...from sleep, stir up..bestir...not sleeping...award, judgement, prize...infomed...awareness". The words have something to do with sentiments and memories of my relationship with my mum. They highlight my desire to map meaning, to reaffirm identity and express elusive recollections.
The images in this piece appear in some of my earlier works as do the processes of reprinting images, stitching, preserving images and text in beeswax. By reusing these images and techniques I emphasise that memory is always threatened by time and amnesia.
My attempt to form these fragments of text and images into a locket /pendant emphasises my desire to give transient, and sometimes intangible, memory shape and form. There is a tension here, as there is in memory, between fixity and flux. Preciousness in traditional jewellery centres around perceptions of value and worth of materials and to a certain degree the concept of permanence, (diamonds are forever!). In contemporary jewellery, preciousness is often challenged and tied to concepts of self and identity- something which is constantly changeable, fickle, variable and to a certain extent unpredictable. Here the form of jewellery is used to highlight the tension in memory between our desire for permanence ( to always remember), and the elusive nature of memory as something that is constantly changeable, as past made present.
About this blog
many roads... ...on the journey words follow me, push me forward, and sometimes, overtake me.