I started off my ideas by looking at culture and background and how that could affect an artist and their work. I wanted to explore more about my culture, who I am and how that affects the art I create. This is the reason behind why I looked in depth at my Scottish roots and went from here and in designing my textile piece.

I knew I wanted to explore along the lines of this theme for my FMP but I also wanted to look at history and storytelling. All of these subjects interest me a lot. I wanted to find a broader subject that could encompass all of these factors. In the library I found a book that is called Contemporary Art and Memory by Joan Gibbons. This book really inspired me from the first page. The four chapters I have currently read are called Autobiography, Traces, Revision and Post Memory.


Autobiographical discusses the memoir, confession, apology, the diary and the Journal Intime. It bring poetry, novel and drama into it as well. Playing a key role in western culture, autobiographical talks highly about personal experience.

Traces talks about the anchoring of a memory through an indexical relationship, it plays highly on the medium of photography.

Revisions looks at the reassembling of history and the artists in this section call upon political and social histories as a starting point.

Finally Post Memory as defined by Marianne Hirsch looks into secondary memory, the interpretations of those who were born after the event that happened. They know not the reality but only the stories of this reality. It is a creation of the next generation.

From my reading of these chapters I have had several artist brought to my attention. My first artist is Mexican Frida Kahlo, she has a strong link to memory through self portrait and autobiographical paintings. She conflates autobiographical symbolism with cultural symbolism in two dominant approaches: the mirrored image ( personal attributes that often allude to the larger context) and Mise en Scene ( key moments of stages in her life). Culture and identity are strong themes in her work, pieces such as My Birth portray this.


My Birth, 1932



Source : http://www.livrariazaccara.com/?cat=17

The next artist I looked at is Japanese photographer Miyako Ishiuchi in the chapter Traces. She primarily takes photo of the human body and its accessories whilst discovering a personal message and a history. One of her most famous collection is that of ‘Mother’s’ where she memorialises her mother through image. She takes pictures of  both her body and her personal effects throughout the year of reconciliation she had with her before her death. These photos act as a medium of remembrance and contain the traces of her mothers body.



Source: http://www.fashionprojects.org/?p=630


Number 17

Source :http://arttattler.com/archiveishiuchi.html


Source: https://mraggett.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/miyako-ishiuchi-i-took-photographs-to-be-in-the-darkroom/

The last artist I looked at is Colombian Doris Salcedo. Her work was put into the chapter Revisions as her work centred around political repression in Colombia. She uses mainly sculpture to show personal memories of the dead and disappeared collecting all her resources and research first hand. Salcedo represents memories she has been told through form and material. This is the case of her piece Atrabiliarios, shoes that were one worn by those who have disappeared, she links this to the grieving process. Salcedo’s work embodies popular memeory through the fact the art is a work of resistance, there are numerous accounts of individuals and are the memories of those disenfranchised, oppressed and bereaved. Her aim is to form a bridge between the viewer and the lives that are seen in the work.


Atrabiliarios 1992/2004

Source: http://www3.mcachicago.org/2015/salcedo/works/atrabiliarios/


Atrabiliarios 1992/2004



Source : http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/doris-salcedo



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