Shards of Light

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This work evolved through a number of conversations which took place during Zoom calls.

These dialogues were facilitated by Rich Mix and Halima Begum. (Visit Richmix Website)

I wish to emphasise that the physical artwork is an aspect of the endeavour, but not the whole thing. The whole thing is the conversations and the continuing dialogue between a group of older Eastenders and Rich Mix and the artwork. I trust there will be a resonant relationship with this cultural community, who can form a sounding board to broaden Rich Mix’s access to perhaps previously unconsidered communities. So ‘Shards of Light, the feeling of remembering’ is the physical manifestation of the relationship between the group’s memories and my studio practice.

The form the work takes relates to my interest in light and its possibilities for manipulating visual perception. This particular use of light developed in part through reading a book ‘Pieces of Light’ by Charles Fernyhough, which discusses how memory works. Apparently not so much filling cards retrieved, but a recreation each time a recollection is stimulated.

These boxes use imagery which emerged from conversations within the group. There are five boxes and five subjects that seemed to resonate with the group: sweets, food, clothes/fashion, pop music and building and streets. There could almost certainly have been five different areas of interest, but these were what appealed to me and seemed to emerge naturally.

These memory manifestations are a particular ‘snap shot’ of this group. My realisation of them should not be perceived as definitive or representing anything other than that relationship. As mentioned they could easily have taken other subjects or forms.

The boxes contain physical representations and I enjoy how the imagery seems to float into a hazy consciousness to be illuminated and then drift away to await its turn in the tremulous spotlight again, renewing its existence in consciousness. I have tried to mix memories with more current imagery and so, for example, Asian Dub Foundation, who have a relationship with Rich Mix, and who I was fortunate enough to see play there in recent years, are mixed in with specific performers or events mentioned by the group.

The ambiguity and restless nature of the imagery seems a fitting realisation of how memory can have an allusive quality, and is notoriously unreliable. Much as we recreate anew each recollection.