Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Project Advisor 1
Walking through my childhood home late at night, half asleep with my eyes barely open, I was always able to navigate myself around every corner, down every hallway, and past every creak in the floor. The muscle memory of this house, which I left behind long ago, continues to live within my body. Memory becomes faint over time; it changes and evolves, but it never disappears. Rather, it matures from the physical specificity of being in a house to being the stories of that house. When my mother moved out a few years ago (a move which I was unable to be a part of), she made me a photo album of the house. Traditionally, photo albums are a collection of snapshots documenting a specific event like a vacation or birthday, but this book was a physical collection of memories of a place and of a family who inhabited that place over many years.
In summers, I often went to my grandmother’s house for ‘Nana Camp’: my grandmother was a fiber artist and taught me experimental fiber art practices during our small camp together. Today I continue her artistic legacy, now using the experimental stitching and embroidery practices she taught me. Through walls built of fabric woodblock prints and woven tapestries, I have recreated the home that now only exists in memory. The faded and fluid qualities of memories are translated into the soft materials that float above the ground, no longer grounded in reality and the rigidity of the architecture but moving through the more fluid space of memory.
Navigating through my installation, the walls will move with you as they catch the wind around them. Imagery of landscapes, forests and smoke are freely expressed in the loosely woven pieces. Areas left unwoven connect the transparency of the forms and memories. Replications of windows, an architectural form that allows for the transfer of light and air, are the only pieces that are opaque and printed on white muslin fabric. I have created pathways representing my skewed perspective of the blueprint of my home, starting my walking path from my bedroom as a child, down the hallway by my clubhouse hidden behind the coat closet, passing by the bathroom on the right, all the way down to my parents’ bedroom and to the staircase leading to the basement where my sister and I had our bedrooms as teenagers. Memories are of real things, yet the perspective from where we stand creates our representation. My perspective now at twenty-two begins at this bedroom doorway and moves out into the blueprint of faded architecture.
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Hill, Ella Whittemore, "129 Home Ave." (2018). Senior Projects Spring 2018. 384.