Studio: Conceptual Thoughts

It is now time to write more about what I am thinking of while I am creating this new work that I am sharing with you.


MEMORY: The need or ability to recall what has happened in the past.

EXPERIENCE: When a moment happens and more than one person is involved, there can be many interpretations of the same experience.

TRACE: That which is left behind. The memory. The evidence. The perspective of the moment.

ERASURE: Details forgotten in an experience. Getting rid of the evidence.

It is the difference in perspective of the same memory that I am interested in capturing in my artwork. I’m am interested in the trace of a moment that is left behind, and the ability (or lack of) to interpret what happened by the evidence left behind. Truth or Fiction? Can we tell what is true and what is fiction by this trace of evidence?

My starting point is working with my family photographs. The trace and evidence of my family of their past times and memories. These photographs are moments captured. They have a natural truth in that the moment happened, but we do not know the details of the moment. In this evidence, we still do not know if the moment was real. I am taking these moments (truth?) and making collages out of them. (fiction) This transformation expresses that the trace of evidence left behind does not have the ability to be proof of anything, except of it’s existence. It can tell us nothing else. It only expresses the mystery of the moment. We do not really know what happened.

When looking at photographs, we must consider that there are many perspectives going on at once. We are seeing the perspective of the cameraman, but we need to also consider the perspectives of the people in the photograph. If you had the opportunity to hear to the story about the memory in the photograph, you would more than likely get a different version of the same experience from each individual in the moment. With this in mind, I have set up some conditions in my process that mimics this idea.


1. I create a collage using my old family photographs.

2. I trace my collage (pun intended) onto old fabric. I use old fabric because it is also has a trace of a past life.

3. I then stitch the fabric by following the tracing. (tracing again.) The finished image is used as the TOOL. It is not the finished piece.

4. I take a sheet of paper and lay it down. I place the tool on top of the paper, and paint on it using various inks, and then place another sheet of paper on top of the tool. These two sheets of paper are experiencing the same moment with the TOOL. Yet, when they are taken away from the TOOL (the moment) they express a different perspective.

5. The RESULT: Multiple perspectives: (the cameraman – the image), (me – the artist), (the paper – 2 perspectives of the same moment), and (the TOOL).

6. The PAPER (print): 2 perspectives of the same moment: The 2 images are very different, and tend to express some opposition: mirror images of each other, color differences, reflect the front and back of the TOOL, placement of the paper with the tool (top, bottom).

NEXT STEP with the TOOL for more prints:

After making a few prints with the TOOL, I take the tool and ERASE the details of the memory, by taking some of the stitching out, and make new prints with the new tool. This expresses how over time, the details of a memory become vague.

The TOOL and IMPRESSIONS:  (comments welcome!)






1 Comment

Filed under Finished Artwork, Memory, Photo, Studio Practice, Trace

One response to “Studio: Conceptual Thoughts

  1. Pingback: Arrowmont School of Arts And Crafts – 20th Anniversary Reunion/Retreat | Anna Keck – Creative Thinking

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