Exhibited as part of FELTnatural: an ephemeral public art project
Memoriam, examines a simple memory I have from when I was 9 years old, whilst travelling overseas visiting my great- grandmother's town and gravesite. Growing up, I've learnt a great deal about this woman, whom my grandmother held in the highest regard. The work recalls my young memory of this time, whilst memorialising as monument. I see myself as the last person to document and discover stories linking back to a past life. The work aims to evoke the memory of a past era by playing out an act of visual remembering.
Memoriam, 2014, wood, perspex, fixings, flowers, dimensions variable
I think we were in the Czech Republic for about two weeks in 1999, I was nine, my brother was six, we were travelling with my Mother and Father. We had come to a town just near the border to visit my mothers Aunts, Uncles and many cousins. Of all these people, I mainly remember the names of the younger relatives (of my own age) and the two dogs, Dino and Pepino.
My cousin taught me how to blow my first bubble from a cube of hubba bubba and we carried ducklings around in the pockets of our shirts. I distinctly remember my parents considering letting me keep the duck. However now, I can’t see anyway that this would have been possible: my wishful memory runs wild.
I remember, one time, walking from the family farm (where we were staying) to what seemed like the next block, to my Great-grandmothers house. It didn’t look like anyone had lived there for a while. We walked to the edge of town, up a steep hill to the end of the road. On the left was a house-like building and to the right, the entrance to the gravesite. We visited my Great-grandmothers grave, a woman whom my grandmother held in the highest regard.
Looking back, I have a better understanding of this woman and the challenging life she lead. She even travelled to Australia a few years before she passed. But at the time all I cared about was trying to convince my parents that we should bring the duckling back to our apartment in Scotland. I hope she understood.