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Caroline Creagh

carolcreagh@yahoo.ie Instagram

Collective Memories

The aim of the work is to invoke the complexities of childhood memories in the viewer. As a community, we have been bound together in our collective newfound appreciation of nature, lockdown allowing us to fully experience the beauty in our parks, indigenous beaches, lakes, woods and landscapes during the pandemic. This project uses cast replicas of shells and a sound component.

The cast shells are similar to the types of shell that the artist collected on beaches across West Cork as a curious child – the shells acting as representations of memory. The shells are similar but not identical, just as one event is experienced from different points of view and reflecting an individual’s subjective experiencing. The shells have been made by first sculpting the shell in clay, each shell is then cast with fine casting plaster. When the individual pieces are dry, the shell is carved into by hand, and then completed with a layer of pearlised acrylic paint. This process ensuring that each shell is unique.

The sound component of the project is made up of memories that were collected anonymously, from family, friends and members of the wider community. They are visceral reflections of childhood day trips and summer holidays, of visits to other countries, or various “firsts”. With any memory, a story is created, and warped over time to adhere to a constructed personal narrative. These individual memories have been recorded as recorded spoken audio, layered, sculpted and essentially “moulded” into a collective. Although, similar, just like the shells - they are never exactly the same.

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