This interdisciplinary fine arts course results in the development of a body of work around contemporary art topics. Research, concept development and studio practice will combine to broaden your skills and ideas. Stimulating assignments together with experimentation promote analysis and understanding of contemporary art ideas, world cultures and historical periods, and other areas of visual information. Studio production and the communication of concepts visually, verbally and in written form will be combined in this thought-provoking course
Friday, December 9, 2011
This image is the result of my thoughts about memory.
The image is adapted from a photo taken when I was a very young child. My parents took my brother and I out one summer afternoon to feed the geese that lived on Alum Creek (one of our favorite pastimes before it became illegal). In the photo my mother is holding my little brother in her lap as I play in the sand on the banks. I choose to use that photograph as my inspiration for this piece for a few reasons. When I found this photograph I was struck by the fact that of the three figures in the image, none of our faces are entirely visible. We are all staring out at the water away from the viewer. A lot of the work that I have done over the past 2 years is in some way connected to the death of my mother.
The fact that I choose this image in particular was a decision made in recognition of the loss that occurs in memory over time. My mother was murdered only two short years ago by the man that she began dating just a few years after this photo was taken. I've always been so saddened by the fact that as soon as that man stormed into our lives I began to develop blind spots in my memory. To this day I still have very long memory blocks in the early years of my life and I'm almost positive that this is because of all the abuse that we suffered through because of him. The faceless portrait that I have created in this piece alludes to two specific ways in which my memory has deteriorated.
The first is the fact that I cannot actually remember this day. I was told the story and have filled in the gap with the memory of others, but without this image, it would have been lost to me completely. The second deterioration that I intend to address with this piece is a direct result of the loss of my mother. It has been two years since my mother died, and I have very slowly lost so much of her. I cannot remember her face without looking at a photograph of her. I can only remember her voice on the rare occasions that it comes out of my own mouth.
The thing is though, that there are some things that I can remember so crisply that I doubt I will ever lose them. I don't have my mother's laugh. Mine is usually quiet and conservative, with a smile small and thin because of an irrational self-consciousness about my teeth. But I remember what hers sounded like perfectly with out even having to catch it within my own. Bright, high pitched and so unrestrained. But not obnoxious. It was a laugh that made you smile even if all you wanted to do was stay angry. I can't remember the days between her death and her funeral. But I can remember with perfect clarity the sight and the smell of her blood and that of her boyfriend's brains. I remember how it caked the floor of that disgusting off-white living room that I hated for so many years, adorned with furniture the color of vomit covered denim. Everyday I wish that I could forget what I know, and remember what I lost. I wish I could remember those precious few peaceful years before the apocalypse that our lives became. I would gladly give up the last eighteen years if I could have back the first insignificant five.
In creating this piece I have tried to capture the nature of memory by alluding to the blind spots and fading the ones that are seen. Memory is a whisper of the past, as is this work of very personal exploration.