Supervised by Roderick Bamford and Jacqueline Clayton
The childhood home and its associated artefacts can have a seminal affect on life experience and memory. Those inanimate domestic objects that accompany us through childhood accrue value and emotional investment. They mark the passage of time and place, and contribute to the creation of a personal narrative. These material souvenirs of a life journey can evoke seemingly contrary emotions, where recalled memory and present day reflections combine to provoke nostalgia and sensations related to the phenomenon of ‘the uncanny’.
This research was initiated to analyse the emotional responses evoked by a collection of souvenirs retrieved from the suburban Australian home of my childhood. By reflecting upon my relationship to these objects I began to comprehend how the accoutrements of everyday life contribute to a complex personal dialogue between past and present and between reality and fantasy. A critical discussion of this experience in relation to the existing literature in the field of cultural studies is charted through an analysis of selected visual artists and provides a background for the current studio research. The study provides a deeper understanding of the vital role domestic souvenirs can play in mediating loss and change throughout a life. The emerging dialogue also referencing the psychological and philosophical becomes a contextual framework for the development and further discussion of my own arts practice.
This document explores theoretical and subjective conditions of the domestic souvenir, their evocations in the material culture of the home, and how retrospectively they affect our self- image and perspective on life. The investigation is supported by a responsive body of work created in the studio the results of which are reproduced in this document, and will be exhibited in an installation composed of ceramic