Migration Museum – Six Months 2018

Lying In Home – Installation

SALA Festival

(Formerly SALA Week)

1– 31 August 2018 – Artist talks: 11/22 August

Six Months – The Exhibition

Six Months is an exhibition project that re-imagines pre-natal attachment at six weeks, and within the first six months of life. Re-imagining an intimate symbolic world with mother and child in unison, Six Months presents unique attachments in response to a ‘lived experience’.

Installed within the walls of the ‘Lying in Home’ twenty-six object based, soft sculptural works offer foetal forms at six weeks. Bonded to mothers and non-mothers, the primordial and the absurd, the forms serve as repositories reflecting ideas on conditioning and transference of ‘nature’ within a symbolic mother. The colours and textures of an implicit attachment prior to birth extends the idea of ‘self’ development and potential, re-imagining a ‘projected life attachment to the mother, the culmination of an irreversible period of time spent within the
‘Lying in Home’. 

The palm sized forms (in real terms the foetal form is the size of a pea), contained within a larger installation of uniform boxes, umbilical cords, printed images and symbolic ‘attachment skins’, imagine attachment styles embedded into circular symbolic ‘mother’ forms. The visual patterns, symbols and forms resonate with meaning, re-imagining and interpreting emotional memory. Examples of symbolic interpretation convey yellow as cowardly/dangerous, the worm/slug as hungry/devouring, the fly as complete/incomplete, ‘knotted’ skin infers chaos, dead wood supposes absence, butterflies offer symmetry/order and so on.

Incidentally, six months (26 weeks) the period of time allocated to the women who were admitted to the Lying in Home, became a form of synchronicity within my practice. The work took six months to make and grew to be a site-specific, semi static, oblique performance, assembled on the main wall of the home, with history open and resonating. The home offered the viewer a moment to honour the past, reflect on it, reclaim the potential that once existed within it. To have reverence for the history of the women who stayed in the home, to be curious about their time and place, their attachments, their lives, their loss of potential and the possible recovery from that loss. Through re-imagining attachment, Six Months offers an alternative understanding of a time (150 years ago), when liberty was non-existent and survival imminent. Working, spending time with these small ‘personalities’ it feels as if everything has changed and yet nothing has changed. 

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