Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Running parallel to these musings have been my facebook feed. Rich with workshop photos from both tutors & attendees, I've particularly enjoyed those that have been about memory & place. Wonderful explorations into how mark making can represent a reality or an event & thus trigger memories.
As if this wasn't already ample food for thought, my bedtime reading is currently Kim Mahood's 'Position Doubtful'. In the section I'm up to, she has taken a large meterage of canvas, camping supplies & a convoy of experts up to the Tanami desert area, where she has begun the process of mapping the land. Her mission is to not just map the physical landscape, but to map & record the stories & memories of the land onto the physical map. The experts include a geologist, who is able to read the physical landscape & describe the story of what happened in it's history to shape it to the landscape it is currently, and she has both male & female members of the Aboriginal custodians of the area. It is important to have both, as they contribute both different stories & different perspectives to the same stories . There are also the stories of the church missions & the cattle station families, of which Kim contributes from her own experience.
Having lived in a few different countries & having made several places 'home', words like; home, settle & belonging all prod at the deeper part of who I am...but...THIS is not the place to delve any deeper into my psyche!
Time to show you what I did with all this contemplation!!
I have always enjoyed maps, whether they be ones drawn up by the children at kindy, or the topographical ones that we wrestle with on walking trips! Therefore, I decided to have a go at mapping my front yard!
This is where I start most days, it has been the site of family gatherings, easter egg hunts, children's birthday party treasure hunts & my son's engagement party. It is a little piece of dry, weed infested land that I belong to... at the moment. (Nothing is permanent afterall!)
Overlapping layers of meaning.
A mishmash of time.
I am so happy with this! I realise it is not pretty. Nor is it proportionally accurate. If my family were to sit down to discuss this map, they would each layer into it their own memories & perceptions & remove some of what I have kept safe in this map. An ongoing palimpsest! What fun!
I'll leave the closing words to Kim Mahood;
"You can move your stock over it, you can fence it in, you can steal the livelihood of a people, but you cant steal the memories and the family histories and the conception sites that connect people to their country. These things persist wherever the people themselves persist."