Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Memoir" 2013

These are some examples of work I've done for The Sketchbook Project 2013. The theme I chose is 'Memoir" so I've decided to focus mainly on my tumultuous relationship with my mother and her relationship with my grandmother, who died when I was 3;  I have strong memories of my grandmother and the love she gave me, as well as the love my grandfather showed, so he is also included. My mother is bi-polar and this has made it very difficult to have a relationship with her. She is self-centered and doesn't have a very good memory of the past. There are painful events from my childhood that I remember vividly, but she claims to have no memory of (one of those events is pictured below- a terrifying day at Lake Lanier that took me years to get over!).
Thankfully, from all of my past I have learned that it's no use to wait for apologies- it's much better to find value in myself and not expect others to bestow value upon me. I've learned that being true to myself and doing what is right for me is the best path I can take. Sometimes this can make me seen harsh, but I believe it is best to follow my gut. 
I don't know if these images will translate well into digital format- most of my work is 3 dimensional- using natural objects, yarn, and fabric to create depth- you can't really see that from a scanned image but I hope you will be able to see the heart and soul I've put in to this book so far.
If you are participating in The Project this year please connect with me so I can make a point to view your book when the tour comes to town. If you haven't signed up, please consider doing so- this is a great project that connects people from all over the world and I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the past, and plan to do so in the years to come!
This is the face page; it represents my feelings of loneliness as a child; the stamps represent the distances I've traveled trying to find my true home.
 This image was made from a photo of my grandmother holding my mother on the beach, I glued alternate faces over theirs and taped down dried flowers to signify the passing of time; the butterfly wing (found on my property as is!) signifies broken dreams. The reflections you see are the tape holding things down. Normally, I wouldn't dream of using tape on my work, but the sketchbooks on tour will be handled by many fingers so they need to be made sturdy and secure!
This is an altered photograph of my Grandaddy fishing. He used to take me along sometimes when I was 3 or 4 (before my Granny died) and I would always cry when I saw the poor fish with hooks in their mouths languishing in his rusty bucket. He always threw them back, but we still ended up having fish for dinner-gutted and with their eyes turning opaque in the skillet- I guess he didn't throw them ALL back!

These last two are an image and an altered image of my worst memory. We were at Lake Lanier and I was lost- I couldn't find my mommy or brother and I was walking up to strangers and crying, asking for help, and I remember them all laughing- one guy gave me a Micky Mouse ice cream; suddenly my mom came up and snatched it away. I remember being so terrified that day, feeling abandoned and alone. Years later I discovered the above picture along with a stack of others like it. I confronted my mother and she laughed and said she had been watching me the whole time- I was infuriated! I can't even ignore the cries of my dog, and I couldn't imagine ignoring my own terrified child! I've run this event over so many times in my mind, thinking about the idea that memory is all about perception- and still I can't change my memory or the fear I felt that day. 
I covered the images with sand, feathers, and bits of old photos- the blurred child gets a crown to signify that all children are innocent.

“As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know.”
C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections 

“Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age. The child is grown, and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay

-Bouguereau- one of my favorite artists.

1 comment:

  1. I found this fascinating but also heartbreaking. The images are haunting and dreamlike, and one really does get a sense of the unconscious at work. Thanks for sharing.