So we’re now in to week 11 of my final major project based on self-identity and childhood memory, and it’s surreal to think how far I’ve progressed within the last 3 months. This project has been hard work, not only through the taxing workload bu through the emotional investment that the subject matter has demanded of me. In last weeks blog post (FMP: Week 9-10), I briefly noted that I had added text to my largest work to date. This week I started of by embroidering over part of the painted text which read: “Forget me not”.
Initially when I painted this phrase, it was very instinctual, the phrase had been circulating in my head time and again throughout the project. But whilst embroidering the text, I had time to really process why these three words seemed so significant to me. The literal meaning refers to the name of the forget me not flower, a flower that grew in abundance in the garden of my childhood home. I loved these flowers and would pick bunches for my mother. I was always fascinated by the name of the flower, how could anyone forget such beautiful things, vibrant with their delicate blue petals.
Overtime however the flower and its name have come to symbolise something of the way in which I remember childhood. I have a tendency to cling on to idilic memories, rose-tinted by time and distance from the actual experience. I grasp desperately onto notions of perfection, of happiness, of contentment as though they are screaming at me ” forget me not”. But if this project has shown me anything it is that memory is as cruel as it is kind. It can only provide you a blurry sense of the past, the narrative your subconscious mind has created to explain the meaning of our identity. Not every memory is pink and cosy and warm, nor are they akin to shakespearian tragedy. I can only guess that they fall somewhere in between. I don’t want to forget the past me, but in thinking that I hold an unbiased memory of who that ‘me’ was, is in-fact a falsehood.
I don’t have much further work to show from this week, I have mainly been focused on the written component of my course. But I wanted to add in an image of the final wall hanging that I had been stitching together last week. The white door opens a further plane to the painting, giving this work a reflective quality that feels quieter than my previous works. I decided against adding text as I think the paint speaks for itself.
Next week is the grande finale, the exhibition! It opens for a private view on the 13th of June from 6pm-9pm at East Surrey College, Reigate School of Art. If you’re local to the area please do come along and see all the work my fellow cohort and I have been working on. Plus the exhibition will be still be open following the private view, so feel free to check the college website for further dates.