There are many different ways to preserve memory; photographs and videos are probably among of the most common methods used today to remember the past. We also attempt to metaphorically hold close important people and places through inanimate objects – souvenirs or mementos- that serve as reminders. Sometimes an unexpected trigger to one of our senses like a smell, color, or sound can suddenly cause a distant memory to reemerge, vivid and clear.
I recently rediscovered a flower press from my childhood that hadn’t been opened in nearly twenty years. A flood of emotion overtook me as I leafed through pages of delicate, paperthin flowers. Each flower had been preserved in such a way that the colors were still so vibrant, as if they were frozen in time.
After spending some time studying the flowers, I felt like I could clearly recall the point in my childhood when I would spend hours in my backyard collecting flowers and leaves. I created a painting, mostly from memory, of my younger self surrounded by a garden of giant
sunflowers and other plant life at my childhood home. The painting, which was done on bronze, became the starting point for my “Relics of Childhood” necklace.
Using a jeweller’s saw, I deconstructed the painting into a multitude of floral shapes which were inspired by silhouettes of the pressed flowers. The imagery of the painting became fragmented, like pieces of an unsolved jigsaw puzzle. Through traditional jewellery
techniques, I re-connected the pieces of the painting to create a long neckpiece that is reminiscent of a daisy chain.
Drawing upon my interest in painting, and my formal training as a metalsmith, I merged two seemingly disparate disciplines to create a piece that is revels in ambiguity, and captures the fragmented nature of memory.