Memory Palace, 2014
Artist's home, Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Memory Palace invites the public into the artist’s home, unlocking a door of opportunity to transverse liminal space, to explore the recollection of home through the narrative of intimate space and reflective nostalgia.
This participatory installation is drawn from the Method of Loci; a mnemonic technique used in memory recall. The placement of intimate personal objects helps to evoke the personal memories of the participant. Examining the nature of human experience through the recollection of memories, but at the same time inviting participants to form a new experience.
The role of storytelling within these spaces is emphasised by use the personal objects; these personal motifs act as a facilitator enabling the participants to construct their own meanings.
In order to transcend the cerebral way of knowing the home, it is imperative that participants can immerse themselves within the space; it is only then that the complexity of the experience can be measured.
There is an undeniable intimacy in the objects that once belong to the dearly departed.
My Grandfather passed away in 1996, and since that time I have kept some of his modest personal items. Beyond the memories I can also reach my Grandfather through the objects he left behind; his bedside table, photographs and the letters I wrote him as a child.
The bedside table that belonged to my Grandfather still bears the signs of use; the scratches in the timber, the rusting of the drawer handle and the dusty smell of old books from within the drawer itself. You can trace some of the history of my grandfather through the tactile and sensory nature of that table.
This bedside table is located in the ‘Memory Room’.
The bright aqua blue desk that belonged to my best friend Rel spoke volumes of her personality. Her bright character and indelible creativity, this desk was the epicentre to her thoughts, ideas and dreams. Rel passed away from Bowel Cancer in early 2013, and like my Grandfather, I have kept some of Rel’s personal items.
This desk is located in the ‘Liminal Room’.
Participants are invited to view the exhibition over two nights, arriving anytime between 7pm and 10pm. The home space is set up like a usual gallery opening; participants are personally welcomed into the home and offered a drink.
Participants are instructed to enter the ‘Memory Room’ first alone or with a friend. When the set task is completed in the ‘Memory Room’ participants are instructed to individually enter the ‘Liminal Room’. They are told they had unlimited time in the ‘Liminal Room’ and would not be disturbed.
At the conclusion of the exhibition the ‘Liminal Room’ letters are collected and burnt within the fireplace of the artists home.