Mnḗmē– A Breathing Objects Installation/ Kinetic Sculpture

In our quest to understand and emotionally survive the incomprehensible reality of the world, we utilize all that is available to us, and project memories, sensations and feelings on inanimate objects. These objects become living monuments to our attempt at coping with the recognition of our temporary existence and the inevitability of loss and death. The past exists outside the realm and beyond the reach of our perception, but some material objects may become the continuation that we crave. This work aims to preserve the present and relive the past while dealing with the deep emotions that are connected to grief and loss. Ultimately, it seeks to breathe life into the lifeless objects, ensuring our eternity.

The Bed

The Bed. A place of rest and security, of warmth and protection. At once a symbol of “home” and the portal to another world, the world of dreams. A bed can be a place of pain; or a space for respite from pain.

This work replaces the crisp, clean linen of the archetypal bed with bruised and battered skin – signs of abuse and trauma. The bruises and blemishes are the outcome of a scenario that unfolds in the safety of the home, hidden by the privacy of the bedroom.

The concrete signs of hurt expressed in The Bed depict the different forms of abuse that occur behind closed doors: the physical, the mental, the emotional. My hope is that this installation will engage the audience with experiences of hidden abuse and trauma, and with their aftermath; the shame, hurt, and damage, invisible to the world but nevertheless present even after the bruises fade away.

We are some way from a time when violence and aggression towards women and children in the home was tacitly accepted (even if not always condoned). But there is still violence, just not always as evident as before. We learn today, often belatedly, of survivors of all kinds of abuse, and of the humiliating and degrading acts inflicted on them in the bedroom and in bed – supposedly a place of safety, repose and rest. I want The Bed to be uncomfortable; to influence greater commitment to stopping acts of domestic abuse; and to encourage treatment and healing for survivors.

Dine with Me

A dining table set for two: a couple about to sit for an intimate, romantic, ceremonial encounter, or just a casual meal.

At first glance, there is nothing unusual about the situation: one table, two chairs. At some point the couple will arrive, and then dinner will begin. The setting is elegant and inviting; on the surface, it matches our social expectations. But beneath the table, there’s a different story altogether. The chairs are joined to each other, four legs shared between the two.

And so a second glance confirms the incongruity of the moment: the soon-to-arrive couple will not be able to sit. The chairs are fused to each other, and forcible separation will cause fracture and collapse. So, in fact, there is no way of sitting at the table for two. The viewer must now step away from the standard point of view;  pause, bend, observe, and try to figure out what is going on beneath the surface.

Dine with Me is an expression of a symbiotic, dependent relationship. The absence of separation prevents development of a natural a relationship or connection between two individuals. Ostensibly separate and independent, the pair about to sit down and eat can only exist together as one. Their togetherness and attachment only permits a limited and problematic existence: either they sit with their legs stretched out straight ahead, intertwined; or to one side or the other of the chair, semi-detached).

A symbiotic relationship, in which the existence of one depends entirely on that of the other, creates the illusion of security and stability. The romanticization of “one soul in two bodies” (Aristotle) reinforces this sense of interdependence.

For years, women were considered the property of men, first a father and then a husband, and thus had no independent existence of their own. As a result, many generations have considered total union a relationship ideal, without acknowledging the price, both emotional and concrete.