This week Kathrina Hughes talks about the piece of work, a cloth memory book, she produced for a module in Creative Embroidery in NCAD which she undertook last year as part of a Certificate in Visual Art Practice.
“This piece was inspired by home and everything that means to me and my family, both physically and emotionally. Home has so many meanings for so many people and our very essence can be tied up with our experiences of home.
What does home mean? Where is home? And what does home mean to you? I explored these concepts with my family, with some clear themes emerging:
“Home is a feeling”
“It’s that warm, safe and familiar feeling”
“Home is togetherness”
“It’s where our memories of family are”
“Home is where ‘our stuff’ is… and all that stuff we accumulate over the years together”
To combine all these feelings and memories into a project that would encapsulate the feeling of home, I experimented with various collections of family heirlooms, text and images. I created a memory book in a concertina style. It is composed of emotive words and interpretations of childhood photos which make me feel like ‘home’.
I used a linen fabric which I eco-dyed using leaves and flowers collected from my garden; my garden is full of a lifetime of memories also. I used some oak leaves, picked from trees grown from acorns collected from family holidays.
The stitch style is simple — hand stitching. I find this simple process adds to the personal legacy attached to home’s memories and meanings which I am trying to convey. Hand stitching also makes you slow down and enjoy the process as well as form an emotional connection with the work unfolding before you.