There is a deep connection to the past, present, and future self. Memory is created and destroyed and stitched together, and there is a red string of fate that binds the child self to the adult self. I explore this concept of putting together fragmented memory through elements such as photo transfer—attempting to uncover a memory; the string—sewing fragmented scenes together; and the natural disintegration of objects overtime. This show is about memory, yes, but more than that, it is about the connection between one’s past, present, and future self, and how they are interconnecting.
They are indistinguishable, a trinity coexisting on the same time plane. The nature of memory is such that we constantly live it, while simultaneously we live our future, breathing into present and past. And this exchange of breaths and flashes of light are glimpses into something beyond linear time; it's stepping through a threshold and into a time machine and seeing the whole of your life all at once.
Using real mediums and situations from my own childhood, such as carving on furniture, photographing and writing down my surroundings, sewing into fabric like my mother, I seek to discover what it means to experience time nonlinearly, being in communication with who I was as a child and who I will be as an adult. Of course, this is a paradox, because they are ever with me in present tense.
It’s a three hundred and sixty five degree view and I’m always singing to myself. We pray to a red thread to connect us, those liminal spaces shaking through my cracks and every single déjà vu moment. This is a return. It’s a brief brush of skin between my past and future, a time machine gone haywire, a flash of bright light where we live and die and live again.
Art Talk Excerpt
This show, of course, began before I was born. But it also began around this time last year, as I was preparing for a month long trip to travel to all my childhood spaces. Last summer I was able to fly back to Oklahoma, where my grandparents live and where I spent most of my formative years, Georgia, where my uncle lives, South Carolina, where I was born, and of course Alaska, where my family lives now. I spent my month, quite literally, going back in time, documenting through photography and through writing the emotions, visions, and sensations of what it’s like to time travel. And so began the process of this show.
The word liminal has the following definitions: of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process. And occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold. It has spiritual connotations of transformation, while paradoxically not quite remaining the same and not quite being different. This strange threshold is where I believe all humans lie. We aren’t quite our memories, but we also aren’t quite only our future. We have years built up inside us, and we are all still children underneath those years. All these pieces seek to explore that threshold. I use my own childhood as the example of this sort of nonlinear time, of the child self coexisting with the current self and future self. I am simultaneously existing in my past and in my future, and both are in communication with me and with each other.
This connection is seen in the red thread, which comes from a proverb telling how, regardless of time or space, two humans are inexplicably connected to each other. This of course has extended to also represent the connection between that past, current, and future self and how they simultaneously exist and interact with one another.
Inevitably when speaking of nonlinear time, you also have to address memory. How is memory built up? How do we uncover our memories? Can we return to our memories? Is our supposedly unknowable future also a memory of sorts? I explored this concept through each piece in the show, through the old rocking chair, through stitching together a moment in time, through revealing a memory transferred onto paper. Each of the processes also comes from my childhood, from my grandfather who was a woodworker, from my mom and grandma who are both quilters, and from my uncle who is a photographer. It also comes from myself, from drawing and carving on furniture when I was little, from pasting fabric to my wall, and from being taught how to sew and photograph myself.
You’ll also notice that there’s a bit of writing throughout the works as well. That also comes from my mom who is a writer, and from myself. I actually also worked on my English senior thesis project simultaneous to this work, about this same subject, which was interesting as the writing influenced these pieces, and these pieces influenced my writing. Both, when working together, provide a fuller view of this concept of nonlinear time and coexisting memory.