Recollections is a compilation of fairly disparate subject matter: fossils, grave monuments and depictions of planets. Though Recollections has been split into three different chapters, the chapters are all interrelated through the idea of memory. Memories can be transient or ephemeral, achieving a dream like status. However, memories can also be persistent and durable: this is how we create our realities and perceive what is factual.
Memories are both tangible and intangible. Sensory cues can send us catapulting back to a past time. There are places that are engulfed with anachronism; or objects that display antiquity. It is the antiquated objects that interest me; it is through these objects that I hope to portray memory, history and preservation.
The three chapters are as follows: Impressions, Memorials & Paper Planets.
Humans are not the only beings capable of creating memories, the Earth has its own method of preservation: fossils. Fossils are Nature’s means of keeping a record of its memories.
Fossils are a defined selection of the past life on Earth; the fossil record is not a comprehensive history. Representations or traces of life become increasingly difficult to locate as you travel back into the fossil record due to the pull of the recent. Older fossils most likely contain specimens that are distorted or broken due to pressure from rocks and sediment above.
Their story is hidden within a ‘shroud of the past’. We are only given clues to organism events through fossils. In showing the ‘fleeting memories of the Earth’, there are clarities within the fuzziness and ambiguity. The same can be said for human memories.
Humans – like the Earth – also keep records in stone, usually monumentalising important points with in our histories. For Westerners, death has consequence. It is the end. These memorials often become the everlasting memory of a person’s life.
In contrast to fossils, which are organic forms compressed in stone, grave memorials are ridged and often geometric. Humans impose design and shape on stones when constructing grave memorials. However, as time passes, imposition slowly begins to wear away as Nature once again takes over. This is seen in the changes in textures, erosion and the presence of lichen on the memorials.
The photographs in Memorials exaggerate and emphasise the imposition of form on stone. The photographically framed geometric compositions are only emulating or extenuating what is already present on the grave memorials. Although there is an overarching sense of geometry within these images, Nature is also present. Nature is indicative of the age of the stone and responsible for the weathering. At the same time, the rounded, aged geometry subtly displays history and the passage of time.
New imaging technologies have allowed scientists to look out into the depths of the solar system, the Milky Way Galaxy, as well as other galaxies. These imaging technologies have given scientists new insight into the creation of worlds, the formation of solar systems and galaxies, and the composition of primordial Earth.
It is common practice within scientific journals for the author not only to describe the object under evaluation but also to give a representation. Photographs of these alien worlds are now being analysed as primary source material. In this respect, these images are the objects being scrutinized and studied, not the planets themselves.
In this respect, these images have almost replaced the real object. This in turn produces esoteric questions regarding tangibility and constitution of reality. Scientists are now re-constructing the history of our solar system and other areas of the galaxy with the data present in these photographs.
In Paper Planets, I have appropriated images from these journals and created paper sculptures, thereby imposing my own ideas on the formation and construction of history. I have fabricated my own alien worlds where only I know the eccentricities of their formations and their histories.