WALKING INTO MEMORY: PLACE CELL 2015
Creating and recalling memories are beautiful processes, involving stunningly complex, invisible connections.
In research on the brain and memory, ‘place cells’ have been found, whose function is to build a very precise map of our surroundings. The place cells job is to provide a context to which memories can be attached.
An event recorded in memory can then therefore be situated in time and space.
I wanted to create an active visual memory, a map of the time and space I spent making in this unique environment. The vitality and immediacy of drawing suggests a direct neural transmission from the human act to the resulting lines- a direct link between mark maker and marks made. I exploited this function and created a large-scale drawing that grew from its beginnings on paper in my studio, to branch out into the room it was inhabiting, evolving to reflect the workings of my brain. The altering of neural circuits as I learnt something new and the firing up of synapses as nerve cells communicated, all created their own lexicon of marks: these magical, invisible acts began to play out in the forms in front of me, finding their own weights and rhythms. It became interplay between new marks, new processes and a rich new environment and the glazed large-scale drawings from another time, which I repeatedly referenced and drew influence from.
The moment I wished to generate with the drawings, the branches and the chair is a reflective and connective one: a chance to rest after the climb to the attic, to form new memories and reactivate old ones, and to feel held and blessed beneath branches in this very particular space and time.