Exploring fragile memory

After considering the different types of memory I have thought about conveying these visually.

A while a go I experimented with sausage casings (pig intestine) as a way of developing a piece of work in response to the Inuit waterproof coat that is held at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. I decided to see if these casings would hold an impression of texture.

I felt that Pig intestine was too fragile having used it before so I decided to try using beef intestine and stomach. I ordered 9 meters of intestines and a couple of stomachs from Weschenfelder Direct.


Using one of the stomachs first, I decided to see if I could imprint an impression by pressing it. I used some antique lace and placed both between blotting paper and placed many heavy books on top. I left these or a week.

Sadly it turned out smelly, moldy and without much evidence of an impression…


Next I decided to try using a plaster mold. My thinking is that with clay the plaster draws the moisture from the clay and it may work the same way for this experiment.

Instead of the stomach I decided that the intestines would be a better choice, they are more filmy and don’t have the fat content.

I first made a cast of the lace in rubber…


I then cast the rubber cast in plaster…



Using sections of beef casing laid over the plaster cast.


I did get some initial faint impressions which are encouraging but not quite the result I was hoping for. Back to the drawing board!


I made a further slightly more successful attempt


but I still don’t feel that this is successful enough.

I tried a different idea and created some further samples by sandwiching items between two layers of beef casing.




Red thread


Antique lace

I really like the antique lace sample and also the threads but they do not sit comfortably within my ideas. The fabric and threads are still present albeit changed. I need to consider these further within the context of my thoughts.

I really like the visceral nature of using the casings within my work about memory and death. Because of this I have been consciously considering other ways to convey my sense of loss using them.

I remembered the bone ash I had bought to create the bone china skull vessels and thought that dusted through lace onto the casings the texture and pattern would be delicately held in place…

These photos were taken an hour after creating,  I will wait to see how they look when completely dry.




Over a week later and completely dry…



I’m so pleased with the outcome of these! Delicate and visceral.


Placed over fibre optic cable to see how much of the impression could be seen.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s