Memorial for the new generation

The person who returns to a childhood neighborhood finds himself not in the objects that he remembered from his youth but in the empty space between that time and the moment of remembering. 1

I completed an MA Drawing at Wimbledon College of the Arts in 2016 and my final artwork was a time-based installation exploring the paradox of memory. The work was called Memorial for the New Generation and focuses on several aspects of memory firstly, what the memorial represents and how it gives us permission to forget; secondly how it is impossible to return to or recover a memory and especially when we return to the location of a memory what we find is an empty space between the time of the memory and the moment of remembering; thirdly, how the most important thing about remembering is that we generate something new every time we do so.

The installation consisted of a memorial shaped steel grid work which represents a timeline of memories from visiting London age 9 to 19 and memories of events in my hometown which led to me moving to London on my own at age 16. There are 35 boxes made of tracing paper that fit inside the grid work and have layered drawings on them. The drawings were done on location at the places of my memories or traced from photos taken during my revisit or original photos from the time of the memory. I was the winner of the Matthew's Sketchbook Prize for these drawings.

My research has also led me to engage in several different texts by Ali Hossaini about the earliest means of controlling memory, space and time through the grid, surveying, photography and perspective drawing, as I feel my installation is an attempt to control and change my memories. The theories of Lyotard and how memory is inherently sublime and impossible to grasp, have also been of great interest to me as I feel like I am constantly measuring how much the memories still affect me today and how much I have changed since their original occurrence.

Finally, since the installation was timebased, it was constantly changing throughout the exhibition. The boxes were moved to different places in the metal grid work and the drawings were moved to other boxes building up the layers of memories on some and leaving others empty. At the end of the show the boxes were scattered on the floor around the grid to represent the unreliability of memory.

By the end of the exhibition the tracing paper boxes were displaced from their slot in the metal "timeline" and dismantled on the floor representing the unreliability of memory.

1. Gaines, C. E. 2004 Hammer Projects: Edgar Arceneaux - Hammer Museum Internet <> Accessed on 01.07.2016.

As this was a timebase installation parts of the sculpture were moved on a daily basis to depict the chaos of timelessness and memory. Watch this video and others to see what happens by the end of the exhibition.

All images are protected by copyright 2023 and can not be reproduced without the permission of Georgina Hobbs.
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