Shifting sand.

I am seeking my independence, as I wanted to prove to myself the separation from my country and family is complete and I have cut metaphorically the umbilical cord with my past.

Separation, isolation are the price I have paid to move abroad and the emotional distant was the only cure I found to release myself from an inner obsessive echo that is always pulling me back to my former life family

I understood how important it was to embrace the change, changes, and in doing so I  challenged my beliefs and assumptions, but the separation from my family was my first enemy in the process of achieving my personal independence.

Making a choice to be alone and the separation has had a strong reflection on my installation the sand is desertification and stillness.

“Shifting sand” is an expression used to emphasise that something changes frequently making it difficult to make plans, this is me and in my absence I am missing out on family time.

The sand is important because it recalls my childhood memories, memories from my home, the Italian coast in the south of Italy.

The wire circles are a representation of the bond within my family they contains the essence of my  former Italian life.

“Being part of the circle” belonging to the family circle is something that makes us all feel safe, but a circle has no edges, no references, we forget how important edges are, the edges are the experiences and difficulties in real life.

The bird feeders forms a circle, I am depicting the idea of an open cage in which there is a loss of seeds, foods and shelter, it represents the idea of my absence from my family, I have essentially broken out of the bird cage, although I have wanted to fill this gap and remain in its care.

The eight bird feeders represents the eight years that I left Italy and only five feeders (members of my family) are placed on sand. 

The circle is the “norm” and most people have been raised in a metaphorical circle/cage in society but they reject or don’t want to engage the change or fly away, only a few people open their eyes and see the circle for what it really is and try to escape. “Being part of the circle” means to “be accepted” is a metaphor for modern society.

The moldy old brick symbolises a life that has been lived many times, the life I knew, it is an “outsider” contaminated by the previous experience.

The white piano keys are the representation of my families voice and of their absence. The shadows cast an illusion that the black keys are present, but the harmony is lost because the keys are not there. The black keys are the sharpest notes, the high pitch, is the echo of my family voice in my mind.

The blue square glass brick represents my sense of guilt as in how my mind is filtering and projecting these feelings, it is my “no man’s sea” (instead of land) it is my “mental state” in which I am sinking into an unoccupied place due to fear and uncertainty.

The reflective disk is a focus point that represents a place far in time and space, as the blue of the glass reminds me of the colour of the Italian sea, this is a filter, a lens, a reminder that encloses a memory of the past. Behind the glass the white piano keys are blurred and far in memories almost melting into the shiny reflective disk.

The unsoiled brick is uncontaminated, it is a form recently introduced to a new reality, it is separate from the composition mirroring itself in a portion of the circular mirror, as it reflects the new me.

The mirror symbolises one’s self reflection, the introspection and it is contrasting with the external observation and influences.

I have taken my time to experiment a lot with the layout and the composition, trying different formal solutions, finding the balance between my installation and the video.

I really enjoyed playing with the objects and forming the meaning behind them and how I connected my personal experience because some objects are strongly connected with my past and this has successfully been translated in my installation.

There also was a chromatic aspect to my work, it took an important part in the making of this installation as I felt I was treating part of the artwork as a painting, after taking photographs and because of the nature of the arrangement of the objects, the colour of the sand, the colours of the metal, the simplicity of the bended wire, the colour of the grey flooring and even the arrangement was quite abstract.

Editing this video was a new visual solution and I was a bit apprehensive and not sure if the final outcome was strong enough to express my original idea but I was determined to move forward in a different direction.

Unfortunately I was not able to shoot a video of my dad with more character in it because of his age and his reluctance and the distance between us.

Developing a video was an important part of my ideas and it has been challenging to create a connection between the projected video and my installation. It is the first time I have developed a video and perhaps is a media I will use in the future. I have enjoyed the challenge and the outcome has been a really satisfying experience.