Loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installation, Custard Factory, (1998), as part of Negate Nothing

‘what to retain, what to dump, how to hold onto what memory insists on relinquishing, how to deal with change’

John Berger’

These pieces of my children’s clothing from 1986-1990, were hoarded along with diary entries. Then in 1998, diary entries were transcribed onto the clothing and preserved. Salt, latex and resins were used with different text media to preserve the items of clothing like documents. Latex made the clothing into a kind of parchment, a fitting metaphor, for the object as text.

Loss dealt with time, history, memory and forgetting , and cultural discourses about mother-child relationships. My diaries read like historiographic meta-fiction. They made moments real. Moments I had entirely forgotten, and family passages that were lost. History is changed in each moment, the present contaminating the past. I found our joint experiences, recorded with questionable veracity and detail at the time, questionably selected at a later date, cathartic and revealing. The ambivalence of hardship and joy in bringing up three small children. I am fascinated by what we remember, what we choose to forget, and the psychological repercussions for Western Society in these selections and representations of mother-child relationships.

Like the past the many of  the excerpts are illegible, blurred and buried by the latex, uninterpretable, the past cannot be duly represented or captured, yet tenderness, not nostalgia, is strangely preserved. These works 16 years later, seem more beautiful than ever, and represent mother’s relationship with time, criticism, and selfhood.