The Fiction of Memory.
Fine Art Degree Submission - 27/05/2021
The concept for this project arrived from the further processing of my grandads death and what his absence really meant to me. When contemplating loss in the depths of thought and conversation, things naturally turn existential. The combination of this and the last couple of years have given way to this project.
It has taken something that we couldn’t see with our naked eyes to stop the world from functioning in its tracks. Covid-19 transformed everything - how we work, how we dress, how we cleanse, how we socialise, how we mourn and how we interact. It has ultimately transformed our relationships by keeping us away from the ones closest to us. Upon the start of the pandemic, every human being on the planet was blacklisted.
Allowing the process of casting an object to dictate the outcome serves as a metaphor for the ultimate lack of control that we have. Cast pieces emerge abstracted from the original object, much like our experiences of day-to-day life after living through a pandemic.
The culmination of peoples experiences are cast into fine metal, creating memorable artefacts from a unique period of time. Cementing the actions that we took to survive, the very actions that have been keeping us motivated.
Imagine if we could flick a switch and instantly turn back to how things were before the pandemic hit? Begging the question, What would everyone take away from their experiences?
Ask yourself - Are you traumatised? Are you elated? Are you educated? Or are you indifferent?
Everyone's memories from the pandemic have encoded differently, due to what variants we experienced during these strange times we are living in.
That is the fiction of our memory.
''I’ve always felt as though I’m fumbling through the art world, I’ve always been a creative individual but I’ve always felt like I’ve never fully understood 'being an artist.' To me, Artists have some sort of unique perception and understanding on life, something I knew I’d never have the required amount of intelligence to understand. I decided to give a degree a go anyway - making pretty things is my kind of jam and I thought the best way to go about doing that would be to do an art degree. And also, God loves a trier.
It was’t until I watched FLEABAG that I had my ‘epiphany’ (every creative has one of these some point in their career, right?) I reached the scene in the series where she’s talking to her best friend after her mother’s funeral, she states ‘I don’t know what to do with all the love I have for her.’ - and that stuck with me.
I always thought my degree show had to be something so intellectually brain bending and deeply profound or whatever that it was starting to feel like it was beyond me (Hell, I’ve deferred from the course once already for similar reasons.) I’ve spent hours trying to put pieces together that just didn’t fit, getting frustrated and contemplating quitting (again.) I knew I was on the right track of sorts - the nearest thing I could comprehend to this ‘artistic intellect’ was my sense of loss after the death of my grandad, so projects have always naturally gravitated towards that. The thing is, I’ve never understood the language of it - until I heard Fleabag say that one line. That’s when everything clicked and I realised I’d been getting it wrong all along.
It’s not only a physical sense of loss that we feel after the death of someone we love, we’re also suddenly left not knowing what to do with our love that we had for that person. I’m sure a lot of people have probably figured this out already, but it’s a revelation to me and I’m sticking with it.
I’ve always felt this on such an intense level and, whether they’re dead or alive. That’s why I find it so painful when I lose people. I make such strong, loving connections and once they have no place to go, they begin to accumulate into something very scary. Something I’m not sure I ever want to look at again.
I guess that’s why I make these pretty things. These photographs of the people I love, these times and places that are special to me, all cast in silver so I can hold them and look at them and project that love onto them, during the process of making them and after they’re finished. And once I’ve completed them and I’m admiring them, a little bit of that love is reflected back to me.
A wise friend once told me -
‘if you aren’t comprehending your degree it is because you aren’t understanding yourself, it isn’t reflective of your ability or intelligence but it is a sign that you have to show yourself some love. You will fail if you don’t.’
Well considering that failing doesn’t gel with me at all, to succeed I needed to work from the heart. So I did. It never required my false perception of ‘artistic intelligence’ or any sort of brain bending. I just needed to go inward for the answer.''
Fine Art Degree Submission - Experimental Portfolio
11/01/2021, Semester 1
27/05/2021, Semester 2
This journal was composed to record experimental creative processes as part of my degree submission for both semesters of the program.
In the end, memories are all we have. Photographs and jewellery both have individual meanings attached to them.
There’s a great satisfaction I get from transforming something as fragile as a photograph into something so robust it could last hundreds of years.
I find it fascinating turning something digital into something tangible, taking something from the second dimension and bringing it into the third
Casting these photographs in metal serves as an act of cementing these memories in time and space.
This prevents the loss of something so fragile, forcing these memories to transcend mortality