Golden Oyster; not a true oyster

Keep Care installations MFA Winter assessment

Keep Care, installation

MFA Winter seminar installation and performance statement.

Golden Oyster; not a true oyster.

“…I realized that my mother had done all these things for me before I had

remembered. I was fed; I was washed; I was clothed; I was taught to speak

and given a thousand other things, over and over again, hourly, daily, for

years.”1

The objects in this installation introduce themes about family and relationships. Representing and re-contextualising these objects is a way for me to make connections through individuals and time, using these works to develop narratives or suggest memories. Building on Sherrie Turkle’s idea of ‘evocative objects’ my practice sits within the field of social anthropology and autobiography; objects become props that I use to form a sense of continuity between people, time and place.

The scale, texture and imagery embedded in the objects reflect practical daily experiences and responsibilities, other objects have been gathered and saved, from where, and to what end?

I used to find dead insects in your pockets MFA Winter assessment detail ceramic shards

Keep Care, detail

I’m drawn to objects that represent the passing of time: they may describe a process of gathering, selecting, collecting; a shift in emphasis; repetition and attention to detail. These processes reference traditional domestic tasks usually undertaken by women and suggest activities that connect generations. In Golden Oyster; not a true oyster, the intimate domestic environment, and the invisible workload is located in specific objects, the ironing board, the blankets, the chairs.

In a recent interview Swriwhana Spong describes the importance of stories, true or false, in knowing ourselves, she says of her own childhood, “estranged from my Indonesian heritage—growing up I felt that this part of me had to be fictionalised and imagined in order to exist, to take up space, to speak.”Similarly, the objects in this installation may tell true stories or suggest meanings which are part of a broader narrative, memories of collecting shells as a girl, a mother sorting and folding washing or a nana ironing.

I used to find dead insects in your pockets MFA Winter assessment curtain space

I used to find dead insects in your pockets

Keep Care installations MFA Winter assessment detail

Keep Care, detail

1. Solnit, Rebecca. The Faraway Nearby, 2013.

2. ‘Sriwhana Spong in Conversation, Ocula, 8 July 2018. 

Performance of Keep Care, at DEMO Project Space:

Thank you Tanya Eccleston for the steady camera work!

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