Weeping Memory (the remains) suggests a weeping upon remembrance, not limited to sorrowful memory, but weeping as a release. A release of memory. We use tissues to weep into and we also use tissues to wipe away our tears. These tear shapes, most often individually cut into the tissue also imply the trace of a once tear. The tissues memory.
The monotonous process of cutting and sewing encourages the emergence of past memory or thought. Sometimes memory is all that remains, and sometimes the memory itself is lost. The idea that presence and absence co-exist is pivotal to my practice, with the view that rooms, clothing, objects can have a physical absence of the body but retain psychological, emotional or spiritual presence. I feel they retain memory of body and this is what I strive to create in my work.
The tissue hangings I create were prompted by perhaps the most moving moment on the day I first walked through the rooms of what would become my future home. Unoccupied since 1978, the house, though abandoned and physically empty, was loaded with history and memory of life, and death in it’s brief time as Chilterns first hospital. In a room with fig trees growing through the floor and broken furniture all over and so obviously neglected, was a torn lace curtain nailed to a window with no glass pane so in all this stillness and silence and abandon a slight breeze moved this lace in and out like a breath. It seemed the room had life still. Years after I saw the torn lace I began creating these delicate hangings out of various fibres, unaware at first these were an unconscious simulation to the laces movement within that room.
I work with tissues for their conceptual value and of their fibrous quality of being so fragile yet so strong. Strength and fragility in my view, is the sum of feminism in which my work practice is often associated with. The cutting out of tears representing a hollowness or void, with the cutting in reminiscent of pain and a scarring perhaps from silent weeping, the weeping of women, unheard cries remaining now only as a memory with their will to carry on. Weeping memory is designed to be like a blanket to cover for comfort and protect and designed like a veil to cover/uncover what is hidden beneath. In it’s finished state, Weeping Memory is about loss, salvage and longing.