As humans, we are forgetful by nature. To compensate for this, we collect, or create, objects that help us remember the things that we do not wish to forget, forming the basis of what we know as the Souvenir. As collectors, the accumulation of objects and paraphernalia, built up over a life time, inevitably impacts on the image of who we are.Of particular interest to me are objects which are selected to be passed down from generation to generation; how they are selected and how they create a link between the past and the present. These objects and their associated stories, give future generations access to events that are not part of their remembered past and it is often these personal and individual connections that make objects both interesting and relevant.
My work is based on the fact that much of my family history has been lost, leaving a blank space where memories and stories should exist. Old family photographs have been my starting point in trying to piece together a narrative of the past and assist me in creating new memories. These memories exist in a place of reverie of what was, or could have been.
While the point of the souvenir may be remembering, or at least the invention of memory, the point of the collection is forgetting.
- Susan Stewart