Exploring Fragile Memory (cont)

Continued from a previous post…


After starting to consider light as part of my project both with this and my exploration of mass graves, I have started to explore other ways of  using light that both visually accentuates my work but also adds another level of symbolization.

Mona Hatoum adds an eerie discomforting element to her work with light in ‘light sentence’ and I wondered whether the bone ash impression would be strong enough to produces a cast against the wall if light was shone through it….

I really like the idea of projecting the lace patterning, it feels like a reference to how our memories of loved ones become larger than life after they have died. small fairly insignificant memories are blown up and can become over whelming.

Using a small old box I cut a hole in to allow the bulb through and a larger hole to place the bone ash skin over.



Only light came through with no cast but the detail looked great.


A light bulb would also get hot and could therefore cook the animal fibre, so fibre optics or LED’s would need to be used.

Next I considered light boxes.

I like the idea of spent items discarded as waste. I considered the idea of a section placed limply over a light box with just one small element visible through the light  source. a reference to how we forget most of our memories with only fragments of some remaining.


Light boxes themselves are pretty expensive but it would be possible to make one with LED’s.

Another source of light would be computer screens, tablets or phones.

I also like the idea of computer screens as a source of light. Our memory is now forever stored digitally – photographs, social platforms, documents.


5th July

I have spend some time thinking about the source of light and how best to use it as a way of display. This is important at this stage as it will determine the way I make the actual piece of work.

I discarded the computer screen idea as this feels too limited to our current lives and I want to, in general terms, explore all lives ever lived. I really like the light box as this has connotations with fragmented memory (just a small section recalled) as well as being an aid to viewing photographic images also an aid to memory.

Light boxes are expensive as mentioned before, many of them also have measurements marked down the side or are simply too small.

but with a little ingenuity I have managed to create one quite cheaply…

  1. Paperchase gift box in the sale = £2.50
  2. Perspex cut to fit the lid = £11.00
  3. LED’s = £16
  4. Total £30



The LED lights also have a series of different settings one of which is the breath setting that goes in and out of light in a gentle rhythm. Mona Hatoum uses light in a similar way in her piece ‘Undercurrent (red) 2008’

“quietly brightens and dims at a slow ‘breathing’ pace, hinting at a malevolent presence underfoot”




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