'Do not sigh about the flower branches being few,
You must realise that the fruit will form later'
This installation was created in an afternoon as part of a 'work in progress' exhibition. Consequently it represents a moment, a few thoughts, a snapshot of a childhood memory of my mother. The backdrop of a floral curtain, covering the stark, cold walls of the venue has parallels with my colourful Mother's saying. 'Darling we don't do drab!' The dressing table has tissue with traces of lipstick on it. As a young child, I would sit on the bed in the mornings talking, whilst my mother applied her make up and she would make funny faces, whilst blotting her lipstick. Candles were chosen and lit to represent, the more spiritual side of my Mother. The lighted candles also represent how she has felt like a candle in the wind at certain times in her life; but has only allowed others to see a constant flame.
'What a call to humility this dreamer heard in his corner!
For the corner denies the palace, dust denies marble and
Worn objects deny splendour and luxury'
This installation was created using as its central theme the story of an elderly lady who intermittently heard a call to humanity and decided to act upon it. At the age of eighty-eight, Nora, leaving her little corner of the world decided to take a journey to Belgium to locate evidence of her Uncle Frank, who died at the battle of Epes in 1917. Nora's last saw her uncle when she was five years old and never forgot him. Within this installation I have used materials to help evoke an atmosphere concerned with journeys, memories, nostalgia and mild melancholy.
Using bandages impregnated with rough/ unfinished plaster to create numerous boxes, enabled me to convey, that the lives of the boxes, like the life of their maker and the lives of those depicted on them are fragile and subject to decay. Additionally the sheer volume of boxes/coffins Stacked from floor to ceiling was employed to highlight the loss of so many lives at the 'Mud and Blood' battle of Passchendaele.
'They shook their heads in unison;' We don't want other children. We want our children back!'.
The Sunday Times newspaper excerpt above is taken from an interview with one of many Chinese mothers, highlighting the kidnapping of their only children. The themes of loss, the passage of time, memories of childhood and the dichotomy between the lightness and darkness of the human condition are poignantly narrated and have parallels with my installation below.
For all the parents a lost child seems frozen in time'.
As mothers we may attempt to nourish, nurture and cocoon our children in a world of innocence, whilst being equally aware of the underlying threads of violence and danger that underpin society.
My work also attempts to embody a visual and tactile investigation into the emotional / spiritual landscape that exists in a mother and child relationship. The bond of love that, rather like their child's maturing face, constantly develops and changes.
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