There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief

Jojogingerhead in gardenA short film and audio piece created using field recordings of myself and my mother reminiscing about our past, photos from my childhood, and film and photos taken from revisiting the places I used to go as a child.

In October 2011, I embarked on a project exploring autobiographical memory, nostalgia and actively recalling memories that were buried deep in my subconscious. Prominent memories included burying time capsules around the garden, my mother singing, riding my bike through the army ranges and practicing scales on the out of tune piano which still sits in our living room now. I began re-visiting the locations in which these memories took place and documented in blog posts what I found using photography, film and audio recordings. See the blog posts here:

Apple tree cottage and other small constructions

Photo ghosts (the way we were)

Ray of light – early morning nostaglia

Digging for victory

The rotting winter garden

Magic mushrooms and ghost trains – dawn nostalgia at the Hatches lakes

Home is where the heart is

A trip down Windmill Lane

Life is always changing but the view can stay the same

The film I produced is a culmination of these collected samples, designed to resemble the hazy snippets of my dream-like memories. I have attempted to portray the harsh contrast between the rose-tinted magical world in my head, and the mundane, bleak and often painful world that is reality.

In March 2012 I will bury 100 time capsule style specimen pots containing directions to a website where this film can be viewed. The pots will be buried in the various locations where my childhood memories took place. I hope that if they ever get found, the ‘finder’ will visit the website, view the film and leave a comment containing a cherished memory of their own.

What I have discovered during this project is that most of my memories are actually a lie, a fantasy land that my mind has fabricated. The places I once so fondly remembered as being techni-coloured magical landscapes, in reality, are just another dreary grey suburb filled with litter and barbed wire fencing. I realise now that life has changed so much, has become so much more painful and difficult, even my memories seem to be constantly evolving. Yet I can take comfort in that some things, for now, remain the same.




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