Sandcastles

 

Dementia: ‘A chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.’

 

There are three key elements to this collection of work: Time, Loss and Memory. 

 

As humans, we cannot hide from time; our lives are a constant ticking clock. Time wraps itself around us, engulfing our lives, yet it cannot be touched. Its tangibility was something which pressed me to pursue it as a photographic subject. The physical development of a photograph requires seconds, minutes, hours, in order to exist. The time it takes for the photographer to click the shutter, the time the model holds still, the time the film remains in the camera, the time it takes for the image to appear on paper, the time needed for a viewer to take in the photograph as a finished piece: a photograph’s life span is short. Yet photography arguably holds time still, a moment forever hung - frozen in limbo, its life spans forever. When considering ‘time’, one has to immediately consider the occurrence of time running out. This project circles around my contemplation of a life ‘span’ and the amount of time something needs to exist. A year ago, my Grandad was diagnosed with Dementia. For me, memory exists as something that forms who we are; it structures our core beliefs and understanding of life. I wanted to consider the life span of memory, parallel to the life span of a photograph. The collection features the technique Liquid Emulsion. An immensely ‘painterly’ form of photography, the technique allows the exposure of a photograph onto an object, thus solidifying the image in a sense. However the image is fragile, not permanent and the inability to fix the image for a long enough time renders it temporary. One day, the image will disappear, as will our memory of the image. And, my focus on sand sits in juxtaposition to the focus on memory. Sand, for me, is a tangible form of time. A beach, never seen the same way twice; its sand swallowed up and regurgitated in a duality of creation and destroying. Sand in an hour glass, whispering through the gap, the seconds ticking by. Within my work, the sand poses as a metaphor for both memories and the loss of them. It symbolises the fragility of time, and also its resilience. 

©RubySteele 2019