Anamnesis’ 2006

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To see more images from this exhibition view the Anamnesis Gallery page


Born to older parents, mortality has interrupted my thoughts for many years.  Now, with the onset of my mother’s dementia, mourning is taking place without physical loss.  This strange situation prompted inquiries within the realm of the souvenir.  Looking at how objects and photographs allow us to remember or misremember our past, and are kept to authenticate experience and perpetuate a particular set of memories.  Through a resurrection and reproduction of familiar but seemingly valueless objects I attempted to stimulate, alter and manipulate memory.  Souvenirs can elicit memory even after long periods of separation and this prompted me to question whether it would be possible to solicit their powers in their absence.  By photographing an object or photograph and returning it to the owner I essentially produced a souvenir of a souvenir. 


Anamnesis 1                6 x boxes on white shelf


Tissue I cried into at the end of holiday

Enamel necklace from my first boyfriend, which he made himself

Pretty stone

Un-franked stamp

Largest salt and vinegar crisp I’ve ever seen

Photograph of mum pretending to smoke


An examination of the souvenir; its emotional weight and ability to validate experience through memories have resulted in an assortment of real and fictional mementos displayed in Dieter Roth-like boxes.  The contents are hidden from view but are described in the title.


Anamnesis 2                Assorted limnings, pins, white shelf


Souvenirs; personal, donated, found or imagined, have been represented as painted ‘limnings’ and pinned as butterflies.  The collection is added to daily and the display open to repositioning. 


Anamnesis                   Digital print of Anamnesis 1 and 2 approx 100cm x 50cm


The replacement of the installation with a life-sized photograph distanced the viewer further from the original.  Without physical or sensory access to the objects, the viewer is left to provide the answers.


My inquiries continued through this removal, obscuration or replacement of the original and I found that by replacing the object with a life-sized or enlarged photograph in black and white I was able to provide a mediation of the genuine article rather than a replica. (See ‘Re:present’)