Visited the senior center/met with people
Finished grant proposal/application
Worked on template for paper cut
Finished reading Listening is an Act of Love
Here is my proposal narrative (a concise and cleaned up version of my project proposal):
Memories-those of my parents and grandparents, friends and strangers-have always fascinated me. I diligently preserve my own memories in photographs and journals. In my current project I will illustrate the memories of others. With my own art I hope to help and inspire both the participants and the audience to preserve their important memories and communicate those recollections with the people around them.
I plan to interview and connect with peers, family member and members of a senior center. I chose to focus on these three demographics because I am interested in how the sharing of memories has the ability to link us together across generations. I will be speaking with people from at least three different age groups, with whom I have varying levels of intimacy. I will interpret and illustrate those memories with multi-layered 11in x 17in paper cutouts intended for gallery spaces. The layers will be hung with a small space separating them, in order to emphasize how fragments of memory come together to create a whole. In paper cuts, the image emerges from what is made absent. Therefore, paper cuts are an appropriate and poetic medium to capture the immateriality and the embedded loss of memories. I want to use the layers and transparency of my cutouts to suggest the atmosphere (colors, emotions, dialogue, and so on) and complexity of memories.
I aim to produce five to ten large-scale posters for gallery spaces. In addition, I would like to give small prints to the people I interview, so that they can hold onto this visual representation of their memory and share it with their friends and families. I plan to accomplish this by photographing the final pieces or by using the laser cutter to produce multiples. Another possible component of the project would be a small booklet, with one spread for each subject. These booklets will combine the directly transcribed text of each interview with the imagery I produce, serving as a catalogue of the exhibit.
While I chose not to work with Alzheimer’s patients, this incurable disease is a crucial part of what motivates my desire to share and preserve memories. If I could eventually sell my end products to bring a small amount of aid to Alzheimer’s research, I would be thrilled. My goal is that this body of work will serve as a catalyst for reflection, stirring up the memories of my viewers through shared fragments of another person’s memory. Through a disconnected element of someone else’s story, we are often reminded of things long forgotten.
I’m currently in contact with two women at the Ann Arbor Senior Center who will be participating in the project. I will continue practicing and improving my illustration techniques, developing the specifics of my displays, experimenting with materials, and researching published writings about memory. I aim to complete the interviews early next semester, to allow ample time to finish the paper cuts and produce multiples.