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Ink on Paper & Felt. Hand Silk-Screen Printed.
The Colour of Memory
This research delves into the dynamic relationship between vision, memory and meaning through a phenomenological approach to cultural encounters, street culture and the urban environment.1 Street culture is characterised by its ever-changing nature, reflecting the prevailing energy of the time. The buildings, streets and cities also store our memories, being spaces of connectivity, where we live and leave our traces behind. Similar to memory, graffiti is fugitive. Through photography, invisible social and political meanings become perceptive and visible. Analysing my impulse to preserve the past, the accumulation of imagery signifies a constant flow of connections through space and time as well as the process of finding beauty from within the chaos. My recorded past encapsulates stories that reveal where I find meaning, and it becomes evident that memory favours the assemblage of sensations and emotions experienced in response to the environment.
During the act of remembering, specific memories are recalled, for example, the effects of colour and pattern. The patterns in my inner world shape the lens through which I see the world. The external environment influences and informs this internal lens, and unconsciously, I sift and sort through the external world for patterns, establishing correlations that I can relate to my internal world. By analyzing impressions of the past, and recollecting the sensations experienced in each moment, meaning emerges. The intense detail and intricacy present in inner world patterns, is intrinsically present in our reading of the external environment. Through intimate depictions of the street, the juxtaposition of inner world patterns and the external world emphasizes the interaction between the self and its surroundings, connecting memory and imagination. Through the manipulation of colour and pattern, I aim to construct a world where the viewer experiences Bhatta Nayaka’s concept of rasa - a state of total absorption, echoing the phenomenology of each memory.
In the exploration of ideas concerning transience, my research combines ink as a methodology for accessing memory, with soft material sculptures that allude to an emotional exploration of the ephemeral nature of a moment in time. By capturing fleeting experiences that perhaps only occupy physical space for a matter of seconds, these moments of time become fixed. As the image moves from film to ink and onto the substrate a transformation of memory occurs. By bringing the past into the present, there is the opportunity to have a second encounter with each event, reconsidering each memory as the past gradually resurfaces. However, conscious awareness sets in that the sensorial experience of that time has passed and cannot be re-lived. Within the perceived sensations of each captured moment, the essence of human experience radiates an aura, unveiling the ‘energy’ or ‘air’ of the individuals or objects encountered in that moment. This essence colours the perception of the experience, elucidating the way that the brain organizes and comprehends an experience. Artistically, my intention is to shift the viewer’s attention away from focusing solely on a single work and instead direct their focus on a succession of works, forming a narrative built from separate moments in the movement from one piece to the next.
In the technical process of printing a photograph, its colour memory is broken down. Colours possess radiant forces, evident in the symmetry of these forces. By selecting combinations of colour that blend without sharp contrast, vivid harmonies can be created, mimicking the auric colours perceived within the essence of the experience. By stripping each piece of its original colour, the present representation of the moment becomes detached from its past. Every series encompasses distinct rhythmic patterns found in people, objects, images, texts and ideas that are closely tied to a particular cultural experience. The viewer’s perception and interpretation of these patterns depends on their preconceived ideas about the cultural significance embedded in the imagery. Within each intricate detail lies hidden knowledge that can unveil a deeper understanding of the social tapestry woven within each culture.
1. Phenomenology refers to lived experience, placing emphasis on the subjective conscious experience of reality through our senses.
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