Monday, 26 March 2012

Of memory and moths

 I've been thinking a lot about memory lately; it's one of my abiding interests. It's a key part of what makes up our personal identity for a start but also I find fascinating that sense of connection with the past, and not only our own past. We are all repositories of other people's memories as well. I hold in my head some of the memories communicated to me by my grandma - and through some of her stories, memories of her grandmother... And sometimes its almost as though buildings have memories, imprints of the things that have happened in them. When I think about the emotions that have sloshed around in this theatre, thinking about the audiences, that collective participation in an emotional journey - its almost a tangible sense of the past. In places where the layers are thinner could you peel them away and access the past ? The building breathes words; palpable inhalation and exhalation. That first hush when someone steps onto the stage and the whole building holds its breath...the actor speaks.  What I've started doing is cutting those words, the first words spoken; when I draw up a piece and the composition of it feels right, its almost as if it couldn't be any other way and I'm just cutting away to reveal what is already there. And the motif of moths is becoming very important. The idea of the vulnerability of structures to decay - of physical things like fabric and paper being susceptible to being eaten away, crumbling has a parallel with memory and its qualities. The patchiness of our memories of the past, the way they fall away at the edges. Memory is partial, elusive, like the brush of feathery wings against skin, memories can be fleeting and ephemeral.

1 comment:

  1. even antennae–your moths cutouts are remarkable. And your words about memories, ghostly or technicolor, kept me reading the entire entry. Thank you.