In this series of paintings I am imagining issues of Memory and Loss working from personal photographic images. My grandmother died when my mother was only seven, leaving a family of five young children. The memories of childhood my mother had were of her aunts rather than her mother. Contact was lost during the war years and not until my mother was in her 70’s did she mention her desire to reconnect with her mothers’ family. After much researching we made contact and in 2007 her cousin sent some old family photos. It was the first and only photo my mother had seen of her mother.  There were also photos of her aunts and other family members. Comments like : ” Oh I remember when Olga came home with that hat – she was so happy with it ” led me to fragment the images of our selective memory. My mother died in 2008.

I select images from my personal family history, which I edit, crop and compose. With some pieces I incorporate the main character into the environment they lived in. This has been a map image or a scenic interpretation, which requires further research. Then I do rough sketches or collage compositions, decide on a colour palette, most images of the era I am using were not in full colour so I choose a monochromatic palette. Memory is fragmented and often incorrect. A composition that is unusual where the images are isolated reflect this fragmentation. Surface texture is smooth and colours are blended to replicate the appearance of a photograph.

I interpret the concepts of Memory and Loss based on my personal experience, imaging the episodic memory of my mother and using physical representations. I use colour and composition to inform the nostalgic attachment we have to past memories.