This installation explores the passage of time, ancestry and genetic inheritance – both the random and serendipitous as well as the predictable and inevitable. An unknown quantity in the past, family members unwittingly passed on faulty genes from one generation to the next and were therefore unaware of the possible implications. Now the immense field of genetic research is enabling future generations to have a better understanding of their health and life risks .
Using found old dolls prams, the work also comments on nostalgia for childhood, while questioning the role and expectation of motherhood. As biological time runs out, there may be a necessity for genetic material to be artificially provided in surrogate form or through IVF. Natural genetic combinations are altered with new genetic material. Motherhood for some is short lived with loss or may be denied altogether whether due to health, work or social infertility, some genetic lines come to an end.
My work is an installation consisting of three dimensional sculptural soft forms flowing as a long sinuous vine constructed from recycled materials. The discarded, preloved prams each different, are laid out in a grid with the vine core erupting from the central pram and branching out ‘rhizome-like’ to spread new growth to each pram. The vines weave in and out through and around the prams . Each new ‘shoot’ varies in colour and texture representing another genetic combination from the original and starts a new root system at each pram . Some shoots also wither and die, no new life forms occur from within that pram.
The ‘rhizomic’ vines are constructed entirely with found hand dyed, recycled domestic linens by hand and machine stitching. These include tablecloths, embroideries and doilies etc. historically traditional signifiers of women’s domestic daily life, materials that many hands over time may have touched leaving their mark on the work so to speak. They continue to exist in a new history.
The work also addresses our ‘throw away’ society in a global world of depleting resources and environmental destruction and at the same time considers the overconsumption of material goods, and our excessive waste that society can no longer manage.