EquiVocal, a group of seven students from Nottingham Trent University, held a two-week exhibition at Primary as part of our MA in Fine Arts. My piece, Fog, was an installation about memory and old age. It consisted of a wall of faded porcelain plates, covered by a ‘web’ of white thread, extending all the way to the floor, forming a large pool.
Back in Brazil, my grandmother was an enthusiastic collector of porcelain plates, bringing one home whenever she travelled. Little by little she started to forget things – first where she placed things, then people's faces, then her plate collection. Following my grandmother's amnesia, my aunt did what was most practical and got rid of everything, including the plates. It was as if they never existed, either in her apartment or in her mind. Fog is my attempt to recreate that moment of amnesia.
I covered the plates with layers of white thread to simultaneously create the feeling of a web and fog. A cobweb suggests things that were abandoned or left behind, holding the object tight but rendering it inaccessible at the same time. In a fog, the world is right in front of you – sometimes you see it, sometimes you don't. Playing with the idea of concealing and revealing was a way to articulate the notion of memory loss in a tangible piece of work.
Thread is charged with female energy and meaning – Penelope, Arachne, Sleeping Beauty, “Losing the thread” etc. I felt that it would not only create an interesting aesthetic effect, but it would give the piece a female gender. Thread is a perfect line – the hypnotic, almost meditative effect of this line repetition, in physically making it as well as the aesthetic result, are deeply attractive to me. Also, my grandmother was a seamstress who specialised in designing wedding dresses, she was always surrounded by white thread.
I’m an illustrator by trade and worked as an art director for twelve years in advertising. NTU has been great at helping me find my voice and develop my practice. Every day is challenging; everything we produce is analysed and our motives and decisions are constantly questioned. I wouldn't change that, as it helps to evolve your practice. If you're too comfortable in what you're doing, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.
After one year of sharing a studio and working together, my colleagues and I felt that it would make sense to create an art collective to support each other and work on mutual projects. We’re called Parallel and we'll be exhibiting again very soon.