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By: Paul Conneally
'Memory Foam' is an investigation of dispersed media, an open cell structure to explore cultural memory, individual and community, through a process of flow, link and shift.
"Step inside love!"
# 1 [25 April 2012]
Appropriated Window Display & Limited Edition Matress
Narborough Road Leicester UK
I'm with Cilla Black
still the hat check girl
after all these years
stronger bigger better
a call to arms
step inside love
i want you to stay
# 2 [26 April 2012]
Oasis is the foam made specifically for flower arranging. It's used extensively in the making of funeral flower arrangements.
Florists construct frames of Oasis to spell out the name of a dead relative or friend from simple names to golf clubs, cars, fish - anything that the family feels represents the memory of their loved one maybe through a representation of their favourite hobby or pastime.
Oasis when used this way is literally a memory foam.
Here is DAD. An OASIS frame without the flowers.
# 3 [27 April 2012]
As Memory Foam moves forward and I form ideas for Oasis including words and phrases that I could build on Oasis frames (see previous post DAD) I've been researching the types of messages most commonly written, often by the flower arranger on behalf of a relative / friend, on the sympathy cards attached to the flower arrangements:
I am sorry for your loss.
Fond memories, from your friend
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
We are thinking of you.
We are thinking of you during this difficult time.
With deepest sympathy,
My sincere sympathy,
Our warmest condolences,
Dearest (name of deceased) may you rest in peace,
Our hearts are filled with sorrow,
With heartfelt condolences,
Please accept my condolences,
You are in my thoughts.
We are deeply sorry to hear about the death of “name of deceased”.
Remember that we love and care about you.
With loving memories of “name of deceased”,
Sent with love and remembrance,
Our hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow.
“Name of Deceased” will remain in our hearts forever.
We pray the love of God enfolds you during your journey through grief.
Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss.
Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
With love and hugs,
We will miss “name of deceased”.
Remembering you and “name of deceased” in our minds and in our hearts.
With thoughts of peace and courage for you,
We send you thoughts of peace and courage.
May your heart and soul find peace and comfort.
Missed more than words can say, but in our hearts for ever.
No more tomorrows to share, but memories will always be there.
Peace, Prayers and Blessings,
I'm now considering wether the OASIS word frames alone are enough or if I might add a message card too.
# 4 [2 May 2012]
Paul Conneally 2012
Apprpriated Oasis Wet Foam and Pearl Headed Pins
Train 595 was recovered by myself and Maurice Maguire from a rubbish skip in a church graveyard.
Train 595 - some have already railed against my use of this train in representing it now as a new work or in fact representing it at all. I was called "ghoulish" and others have opined that it's disrespectful. Its neither - it's memory foam and pearl headed pins from a rubbish skip but much more too.
A friend worries: "What if the family of the dead person it was originally made for see it? Won't they be upset?"
The truth is these trains are, according to florists, a standard pattern, a popular shape to temporarily memorialise children and men that love trains.
It's not important which church yard it came from - it's the one in your head right now.
# 5 [7 May 2012]
18th May 5am - 8am
Just finalising the score for a new piece, 'Barefoot Blindfold', with Anne-Marie Culhane.
I see this as another strand of my ongoing Memory Foam series in that within the immersive experience we hope to create, emotions, memories and stories will arise from the sounds and silences weaved through the piece.
'Barefoof Blindfold' is part of Anne-Marie's ongoing work FRUIT ROUTES for at Loughborough University a work that I've been happy to be a part of over the last six months or so.
Barefoot Blindfold will take place on Friday the 18th of May in and amongst the fruit trees planted in and across the Loughborough University campus during Fruit Routes. It's a daybreak exxperience starting at 5am in the morning - dawn.
Exact happenings are not yet finalised but meeting at the Pilkington Library participants (it could be you!) are 'slow walked' to a Fruit Route orchard area where the event will unfold.
After we have breakfast and share our stories, emotions, evoked memories.
Any and all of the above is subject to change.
Why not join us? It's free. Places limited so call 07849073394 or email email@example.com
Free eticket at:
# 6 [8 May 2012]
Barefoot Blindfold - Dawn Chorus
There is now an event page at Eventbrite where you can book a free place at Barefoot Blindfold:
It's on Anne-Marie Culhane's Fruit Route at Loughborough University and starts at 5am on 18th May finishing at 8am including breakfast.
To be barefoot blindfold at dawn amongst fruit trees the sounds of nature choreographing our movements will be a new and experirence for those taking part and for those that maybe stop to watch too but so much better to take part - Join us!
More information on Fruite Routes is available here:
# 7 [9 May 2012]
Barefoot Blindfold - Fruit Routes Video
As Anne-Marie Culhane and I finalise plans for our 18th of May participative performance ;Barefoot Blindfold' on Loughborough University Campus:
I thought I'd share a bit of background on Fruit Routes and the how the area of fruit trees that Barefoot Blindfold will take place in came about.
The trees were planted as an integral and in fact defining element of Anne-Marie Culhane's extended Fruit Route piece for Loughborough University Sustainabilty:
The video below was made by me during the Fruit Routes planting weekend where I also wrote and performed a piece 'The Cut In Her Stomach' from a stump close to the Pilkington Library where we will meet for Barefoot Blindfold. The video captures something of the energy and thoughts of the many participants that took part in the planting.
# 8 [17 May 2012]
Well Anne-Marie spent the day yesterday making herself available for talks and iideas around Fruit Routes at Loughborough University as part of their Environmnet Day. Quite a few people signed up or at least told her that they were coming along at 5 am on Friday for our collaborative participative dawn chorus piece Barefoot Blindfold - we just hope the weather holds out - we do it whatever the weather!
Me, well I've been making blindfolds for 'barefoot blindfold' but also and excitingly spent time, as patt of my PCAS (PSHE & Citizenship Advisory Service) work, at an infnt school in Leicester planning a Keyhole Garden project and associated activities.
In terms of 'memory foam' gardens are linked ifor me with memory and memories. Within the wider culktural landsacpe too gatdens are often assocoated with memories and memorial gardens abound. The act of planting is always a hopeful thing a looking forward to positive growth and flowering, fruiting and that meories even the sad and painful might be planted and grow into the new and hopeful is a thoought sitting with me today as I recieved this picture from the daughter of a good friend of mine who died recently. It's a plaque on a bench in memory of him by his family by the lake in Abbey Park Leicester. Think I'll be heading down there to eat my lunch sometime soon.
# 9 [17 May 2012]
Support for Fruit Routes - Barefoot Blindfold has been welcome and diverse.
Diverse is the word for instance we've had support from two strong women from very different fields of work Prof. Sue Thomas from De Montford Universoty and the upcoming female rap artiste Phreeda Sharp have both shown their support for Barefoot Blindfold on Twitter.
Sue Thomas' current work TECHNOBIOPHILIA adresses issues around nature and cyberspace and was the subject of her recent Professorial Lecture at DMU ;The Future of Cyberspace - Technobiophilia
Meanshile possibly the fiercist of current young UK female rappers, Phreeda Sharp, has sent messages of good luck and a wondering of what a posse of Barefoot Blindfiold Bad Janes would be like on Twitter Phreeda @PHREEDASHARP said:
"It'd be pretty phucking cool if there were blindfolded barefoot Bad Janes there!"
Here's Phreeda's video 'BAD JANE':
# 10 [21 May 2012]
Choreographed by Birds
Barefoot Blindfold took place on Friday the 18th May at 5am. Anne-Marie Culhane and I were joined by nine others.
From Anne-Marie 'slow walking' us into the recently planted orchard at the top of her new Fruit Route at Loughborough University to being blindfold barefoot to breakfast and discussion in the Landscaping Our Society garden shed the piece has produced much for us to reflect on beyond the experience.
It was good also to hear from artist Marion Michell that she too joined in from afar - if you want to do it yourself please do and share back with us your experiences.
Here is a link to Marion's blog where you can find her thoughts on this and lots of other thoughts too!
We will share back more fully elements of Barefoot Blindfold shortly but in the meantime here is me Barefoot Blindfold being chorographed by birdsong. The video was shot by dancer Miriam Keye of Strandlooper.