My mother has no gravestone. Gravestones, like funerals are for the living. Or for the dying, a re-assurance that somehow, once gone, we will be remembered by a physical marker, something solid and tangible. I really don’t know what mum would have thought about a memorial. When death calls, we forget to ask. I am sure though that she wanted to be remembered. That seems fundamental to being human, a consequence of loving and being loved, and our capacity to feel loss so profoundly.
She is remembered, not just by me and the immediate family, but by so many others whose lives she touched, in small, kind ways. I have come to understand how important small things are. Thank you mum.
Remembering: perhaps this is the best memorial of all.
Welcome to my artist-in-home-residence virtual space. Doing a non-residency feels a bit weird, but these are unsual times that call for flexible, creative thinking and new approaches. Instead of being located in a gallery, I like so many others, am working from home, doing the same hours that I would have done in the gallery. With no gallery goers to stop by for a chat, I already find myself musing about various things that this projects evokes. Perhaps I’ll blog about some. I’m not sure right now. Who knows how this will unfold?
Anyway the actual theme remains the same. The story of a mother, my mother, as told by a daugther through her art. Like all personal stories, this one has wider meanings and relevance, otherwise why share it? It is a window to a period in Australia when there were massive changes in the way women led their lives, the roles that they undertook, and way they were portrayed. My mother’s story encapsulates this broader historical context.
In undertaking this creative project, I cannot escape my own context, the most obvious being the Covid-19 lockdown. Perhaps the distress and angst of this will come out in some of my work. Who can tell? There will surely be some light relief too, as mum had a lively sophisticated sense of humour. I still laugh inside when I think of the some of the jokes and funny moments we shared.
Certainly the way in which I concieved this has altered. No panels suspended from the ceilings for one thing, and no gallery exhibition on the Mother’s Day weekend. How exactly do you role out a virtual exhibition? Do the materials I planned to use lend themselves to being viewed on a screen? How do I link together individual posts? Is that necessary? I have no idea.
I did have an idea about mystery and puzzles. It was forming up even before the virus. Mum loved puzzles and solving problems. I wanted to incorporate that in the exhibition. So now each post will be a piece of the puzzle of her life, with clues, some obscure, some there for all to see. So here goes. I’m determined to find a way to keep going in these disruptive, uncertain circumstances.