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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Memories and moments

Some traumatic memories are like a frozen moment in time. Others are like the memory of a memory: you know it happened, but the details are obscured. Sometimes memories can be clarified or somewhat put to rest by exploration and various forms of narrative.

I had planned to explore the childhood memory of a pile of dishes being slammed to the floor in frustration by my mother as part of my Artists' Book elective. It made sense to me that a narrative could best be explored in book form. However my attempts to do so were unsuccessful and instead I turned to torn paper for the subject of that project. The content was similar to what I had envisaged, but the medium turned out to be different.

This left me with the ideas from that project seeking an outlet and I realised that they could form part of this project. One of the premises of this project is that previous traumas are carried forward into the reality of new experiences of difficulty.

I'm sure the crockery of my childhood wasn't white, but using white dishes maximised the impact of the broken edges and at the same time speaks of the innocence of childhood. I tried staging the process against a tiled floor and white wall, but the patterned tiles were distracting. In this video the camera is set up to the left of the field of view parallel to the wall which is seen on the right.

I took the video mainly to document my process and as another way of exploring the situation. Whereas the photos and video from this first attempt were not what I had hoped, I found the soundtrack disturbing and powerful. It became part of the work.

My second attempts was more successful. I created a little stage out of plywood and painted the floor and wall white. I shot outside on a fine but cloudy day so that there would be plenty of light to work with. That meant I could control my depth of field and I had more flexibility in the shutter speed I could utilise.

There is more to explore here, but I managed a series of 5 digital photos which form a small installation.

I also experimented with installing the images on the doors of my kitchen cabinets at home. My kitchen is tiny and the bright light through the window made it difficult to photograph, but it made sense to overtly acknowledge the domestic setting of this memory and its impact in the presentation of the work itself.

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