Thursday, July 31, 2008

At journeys end

This work was the title piece for my show - Keep Calm and Carry On, a slogan from a British World War II poster. It was inspired by the stories of some of the women in my family and their experiences of war time (mostly the Second World War). One aspect of the stories that really interested me was what it was like for the women who stayed home, the women who had to carry on their daily lives while their husbands and sons and fathers and brothers were fighting. I was drawn into this subject by a show I was involved in a couple of years ago and despite my best efforts was not able to let it lie. It just kept coming back to me. I could never attempt to take on this subject in any universal sense, but found myself drawn into it in the context of my own family story. One way I explored this was by taking objects and symbols related to these stories about the war and recasting them in (or having them cut from) old, and sometimes iconic, domestic objects, some of which belonged to members of my family. It was a fascinating and confronting and puzzling and often unresolvable process that had some unexpected resonances and conflicts for me in the context of todays political climate.

I always get really nervous before an exhibition when people want to know what my work is about, or you're asked to write an artist statement or press release. I usually don't know what to say and get myself all tongue tied and ramble on a bit incoherently! Its not until its up and I've had some time to reflect on it and get a bit of distance from it that I start to work out where I'm coming from. So i'm still pondering and digesting all of this. Now that I'm feeling remotely human again. Geez, its been a big 4 months!! Oh to sleeeeeeeeep! For more than 5 hours at a stretch!

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