WE ARE ALIVE AGAIN: WEEK THREE
The other week, experimenting with a printed photograph on acetate, putting it into a card mount and shining a tiny light on it , led to the accidental, magical discovery of a ghost image on the other side of the card. Here’s a short video of what I did:
I showed Caroline and Jez and we began to experiment combining images of different sizes and multiple light sources. This simple magic and subsequent play with light and image feels like enacting memory itself – ephemeral, elusive, distorted, layered.
Thinking of these arrangements as possible sets, architectural assemblages, book pages – offer so many ways to interact with and read this way of working. Also as a tool, and application for working with other people on their own family memories and stories. Much to think about now in the way of possibilities for this work.
Caroline commented that what we were doing was ‘serious play’. These words have been in my head since. They seem absolutely right: intentional, focussed creativity in a state of simple adventure and curiosity.
These days make me keenly miss my late friend and collaborator, artist Maria Cobo (https://vimeo.com/user3134719) who died last summer. When we worked together, which was often, we played like giddy children. She would have loved this project. Some days at the moment are very bittersweet because of this. I wish she was here to join in.
I recently watched an amazing documentary, Marwencol (http://www.marwencol.com/)The film tells the story of Mark Hogancamp, who created a fictional world Marwencol to deal with the effects of a traumatic violent attack which wiped his memory and nearly killed him. The film reveals Hogancamp to be an extraordinary man, who consciously uses his creativity as a way of healing, physically and emotionally. ‘The first thing I had to learn was how to use my imagination’ he says.
I was bowled over the awareness and intelligence he brought to this process. He created Marwencol as a safe arena for working out difficult emotions and exploring different aspects of his past and his identity – and he believed in the transformative effect of the stories he made in that world to his ‘real’ life. His naming of this work as ‘therapy’ made me think of Jo Spence and her response to her cancer diagnosis- creating and developing photographic strategies which would be her own therapy, as she rejected conventional medicine.
Some more words which have been with me all week, these ones from Chinua Achebe:
‘There is no story that is not true’
Caroline Hick and Jez Coram are artists currently working under the coloration For The Love of People. You can find out more about them here https://www.facebook.com/ForTheLoveOfPeople?fref=t…
Our Facebook page for the collaboration, where we are all documenting our work and responses via photographs, video, and writing: https://www.facebook.com/jeanmcewanfortheloveofpeo…