Memories can be as clear as day or fade over time. The details seem to be smudged or wiped away, giving you a sense of what was once there but lacking any specific details. Some memories become tangled, web-like, with each person remembering an event in an entirely different way. Family members will share their memories, layering on top of one another what they believe happened. What emotions arise when you revisit a memory? Is it something comforting, filling you with light? Is it sad and empty, making you feel a longing or loneliness? Or does it make you angry and wanting to shout loudly, kicking, punching and destroying everything. Then there are memories that are never shared. Events that no one wants to talk about, that remain as an internal period of time never exposed to the outside world.
“Memory is about the relationship between material facts and personal subjectivity, and it is precisely that interplay between what we remember, how we remember and why we remember that is of such interest to oral historians”. Story telling, or the oral transmission of history, is one of the oldest methods of handing down information from generation to generation. People have to take a dive into the recesses of their memory and pull the information out that is to be shared, and in doing so the act of sharing a memory becomes dynamic and collective. “ In contrast, written history does not present a dialogue so much as a static record of an authority’s singular recounting of a series of events”.
What if, each end and pick in a woven fabric work together to convey what a faded memory would feel like if it was possible to reach out and touch it? Or, could the loops of a wiry, untamed knit, tangle itself in a way that makes you question the accuracy of the collective memories that lie within? What about taking a woven textile and making it look as empty and cold as a vacant mind? Or creating a textile that had to be hand clipped, revealing piece by piece the memories that lie underneath that top layer of haze. The aim of the Capturing a Memory collection is to have the viewer connect intellectually and emotionally to each textile, recognizing the concepts that lie within.