September 15th

Out of my three potential ideas for IP, the following is the one I am most passionate about doing:

I want to interview a number of people (6 to 10?) in a senior home/center/retirement community about their memories: recording the most rememberable, the most significant, the one they most want to preserve for their families, or something small and silly, maybe even mundane. I want to explore questions and themes tied to the idea of memories; what makes one memory more significant that others, how do we continually edit our memories, why do we try so hard to preserve them (journals, photographs, videos, etc)? 

I would like to interpret those memories and illustrate them with multi-layered paper cutouts, including fragments of text. I would make full size cut posters for the show, in addition to small prints that would be given back to the owners of the memories to keep and share with their families. I currently am envisioning the layers hung slightly separated to emphasize the parts that make the whole. Another possible component of the project would be a small booklet that combined the directly transcribed text of these memories with the imagery I create. I would like to eventually sell the end project (posters, prints, books, whatever) to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

I think that because cutouts use what is absent to create an image, it is a fitting and poetic way to capture memories, which do not exist in a physical form. Through this project I want to work developing my own stylized illustrations in this medium and want to try to portray the emotions of the memory in each piece. I'm looking forward to being able to connect and communicate with others about their own lives and using my own art to help them tell their stories. Along with the gathering of the text and creation of the illustrations, I would like to continually research ideas about memories and their cultural significance and incorporate my findings into the project.

Things I Need to Work On/Think About:
- How/where can I go to find people? Research places in Ann Arbor to contact. Need to write a brief letter/explanation that would address large groups and ask for people interested in participating to contact me. Is only speaking to "elderly" people limiting? Should I talk to a larger variety of ages?
- Continue to develop a personal style and improve my technical craft with material studies and practice pieces. Am I committed to hand cutting each piece? Or should I consider laser cutting the posters? Do I have a set number of layers to each piece? What sort of color palettes am I considering? What types of paper work best?
- What is the participant meant to get out of this project? What type of document do I need to draw up in order to professionally/legally create a book with their words? Should I try and collect a variety of types of memories? Should I have prompts for the people I'm speaking to? (ie. Tell me about .. an everyday memory, childhood memory, life-changing memory, hard to talk about memory, etc).

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