My art website is horrifically out of date and instead of updating it, I’m starting this blog to tell you a little bit about what I’ve been making. I’ve been hard at work on a series of pieces that explores the idea of memory and migration, more specifically how memory functions and why it is that we forget.
My strongest memories are little more than flashes—childhood as the smell of water hitting hot blacktop, a decade of summers reduced to the texture of dry grass brushing against palms, friendships distilled into dizzied bursts of laughter and fireworks and momentum. How do memories lose their focus? How do they change from literal recreations of a specific point in time into these vague and forceful impulses?
As I started traversing the process of memory, I began to see forgetting as an active process. These funny little characters started marching their way across my sketches, and I started thinking of them as memory nomads. In their world (which is also maybe my world?), memories are made of finite material, and there is a limited amount of that material to go round. You can’t remember everything because the substance of your memories has to be recycled in order to make new memories. Think of a memory as a set for a play: the memory begins as something detailed and intricate, and these memory workers gradually dissemble that set. They take away a rug here, a chair there, until eventually all you’re left with is a sketch, a placeholder that recollects the entire scene.
I’ve become very curious about these memory nomads. They move in packs and have no real home, and I imagine they’re a lot like gypsies. I’m not sure if they’re lonely, or if loneliness is something that really exists for them. I do know that their movements are fluid and organic, and that they seem to always be very quiet and peaceful. They apparently have fleets of boats-that-are-trees (thus the name of this blog, which I stole from a line of a story my best friend wrote) and carry branches and spend a lot of time floating above sleeping cities. I’m still learning quite a lot about them, and I’m excited to share them with you. Enjoy!
this is a quote from the amazingly awesome book "Capacity," by Theo Ellsworth. He's a Portland cartoonist and his book is incredible, you should buy it!