making memories

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As a child I remember scouring the shelves. Delving deep into the closets, boxes and trunks. I was always searching for something. Something that would tell the story of who I was and where I came from. Something that would help “all-of-this” make sense. I wanted stories of my past, of the past leading up to me and mostly I just wanted to find the secret. The secret that would unlock it all.

One day I found a baby book. It had a couple of notes in it but was mostly empty. I thought that this book had been my chance but that now I would never know. I felt keenly the loss of understanding. The missed opportunity. This empty book represented all that would be lost from me.

When I became a mother I wanted to give my children this understanding. To gift them with that something special that I never had. Each of my children have their own special book. These books  tell a story and the story is that of their lives. I also am beginning a different kind of book. I will be asking my mother to write down the memories of her childhood, of her parents and her grandparents.

We need to preserve this history to pass down. If we do not do this it will be lost forever. I do not want my children to piece together an incomplete past the way that I have. I feel that the past is so important in understanding the present but that so much is lost. So much understanding is lost.

What It Means to be Southern

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ImageThis word cloud was created using a compilation of writings on what the south means to a group of random southern raised people.

I thought that it was an interesting reflection of the southern cultural identity. The Identity of Southern America is not so much a concrete thing but as shifting collection of ideas, collective experiences, and a shared past.

Understanding Identity

art, recent
southern history

Mixed media southern roots project

I have been working on this project for some time now. I have reclaimed discarded southern history textbooks and done extensive research on my family history. I am attempting to restore/ reclaim my history- the past- my family- and my roots- in an attempt to understand myself and my part in the world in which I live.

Lately most of my art revolves around this concept. Of understanding my place in our culture and history.

I feel that my identity lies beyond any and all of this and yet I cannot help but think that this information is invaluable in understanding my identity.