The wardrobe was my grandmother’s. It was the starting point to a series of work, inhabiting spaces.
I did not have the words when I started this blog. Looking back at it now it feels scant and sporadic, and tells me little of what was happening. The lack of verbal language, reflected here, is perhaps why I did the work I did – sitting on my own in a windowless crypt with an empty piece of old furniture, week after week. Looking back through my journals of the time, they are full of random rantings and shopping lists, none of which speak of the loss or memories of my nan.
I’m revisiting this blog now as I have a new piece of work – writing prompted by the recent Life Histories and Life Writing conference at Falmer. The work has contributed to the new website by the Life Writing & Life Histories Department at Sussex University. I am very happy to be keeping such good company with many wonderful projects. A weaving of words, film and photography brings life events, memories, ordinary and extra ordinary to a new home.
This Wardrobe Diaries blog was a platform to gather images and thoughts together after losing my nan. Her wardrobe was my starting point. Looking back there are few thoughts shared, perhaps few thoughts had. The notes suspended from the ceiling were all blank. I did not have the words. It has been really interesting to see what words I now have and to put them together to contextualise the work and pull the project together into a more coherent piece of work.
The full piece can be found here: Wardrobe Diaries
More than a year on, I have begun to reconsider my wardrobe. Another time of transition in my life and the wardrobe has again become a focus for a period of time where I will be ‘in residence’ – this time returning to its previous home. I am hoping that I have sufficient distance to return to a place so loaded emotionally and discover new things and new ways of working and seeing.
Preparing for the final show for my MA, and having seen the possible space for my work this week, I am mulling over thoughts of using the wardrobe as part of this again. I had thought this was seperate, different and any linking would feel forced and contrived. Reflecting on an unrelated discussion of my work this week, general thoughts of the project having been about more than just my work inhabiting a cave like space (see below link)
…Themes of self in space have been seen as more broad themes (this is not the first time i’ve had this thought but is seen anew again this week). It felt on seeing the space that the wardrobe was important to use, and surprisingly becomes central to the work. Plans to use the sound of the cave have collided with thoughts of the wardrobe being a vessel for this, within a larger darkened space which engulfs the viewer in darkness. There are some weeks still before I can get to spend time in the space messing about, or am able to take the object in, but some possible ideas are food for thought, and using this space to chew things over is a useful place to capture these musings.
The wardrobe brings the personal, the self, more directly into the work which has become more apparent as important to the work, as I’ve come to the end of my time in the ‘cave’.
Apologies for my appauling grammar this morning.
Thoughts of my wardrobe and unwritten notes are more symbolic today. Images using the wardrobe and thoughts of making images for the inside of the wardrobe are ticking over.
Interested in how events serve as reminders, dates prompt thoughts and feelings for a day which might otherwise be any other.
That evoking of memory, thought, feeling is curious – sometimes it can be anticipated but sometimes it creeps up behind you, and catches you unawares.
Considering ‘things’ that evoke, objects serve as a reminder of attachments, memories, sound and smell, taste – that sensory stimulation and prompts to those parts of the brain which tap the untapped. There is also the role of the internal ‘state’ as well and what might happen to create that kind of state or experience is something I am pondering.
After writing the last post I wondered about using the notes without the wardrobe, whether the wardrobe needed to be there.
I have since thought that there could be a new photo opportunity for the wardrobe on the balcony of the gallery and also of including the wardrobe in a piece which is made for and in the space.
To suspend wordless notes in and around the object and gallery space.
The notion of stories is also prompting thoughts about the stories I hear, the stories we tell, who’s stories they are and how our lives interweave through the generations and amongst one another.
This feels like a mush of unconnected thoughts swishing around my head at the moment, which I can’t quite bring to form coherence just yet…I live in hope this will come.