My project Crush, uses my grandmothers’ collections of letters, photo albums, documents, and ephemera dating back to the early 1900s as a starting point. Though not an official archive, the items included written descriptions and explanations of defining moments in her life The overriding themes revolve around tragedy, love, betrayal, education and death.
Through scanning between the lines of the letters, closely inspecting photographs and imaging the missing pieces in the narratives, I set out to make my own vision of this archive one that did not rely solely words and instead was able to communicate through sounds and images in a non-linear way.
Originally I had set out to make art from this archive with hopes of discovering an untapped source of history. Instead, I was interrupted by what I found and the emotions it stirred within me.
The photographs I created would be a part of my output. Other elements of my practice included the act of searching,( which was happening and many levels and could be seen as I opened boxes) , interviewing people, late-night solitary drives down country lanes, and re-visiting key locations found in the pictures.
The film I created is a collage that connects the archive with the present through materials and technology. Scenes in the film all have meanings. The single lane dark road became a pathway of understanding in my mind. This drive blends into the basement(location of the archive) and breaks through the surface of the archive. A surface represented by liquid movements such as photographs developing in a shallow white tray, and moments at Browns Lake. A reinterpretation relevant to the contents of the archive.
The curation and reinterpretation of an archive has offered me an opportunity to discover a neurodiverse process as an artist methodology. One which embraces the continuing journey, not the ending. Instead allowing for “stations”/pauses.
Looking through the surface of the water and floating inside as opposed to sinking in despair. I think metaphors with water are very strong. The neurodiverse method seeks to be fluid and allows for others to join in this reconsideration. A transformation of the self through the transformation/ translation of the family archive.
*The work presented here will change.