Jacqui Gallon United Kingdom
I am an interdisciplinary artist working across a range of media . My work explores feelings of grief and loss through the context of “what remains”. How we connect to and remember the dead through the material "stuff" which is left behind is central to my work. I use a visual language of dereliction , fragility and decay in my artmaking in order to mirror the emotional state of grief.
My current practice explores the subject of absence and presence in relation to loss, mourning and the clothes left behind after death. It considers how these once-worn items can exert a powerful emotional pull. By giving expression to loss and grief through the use of disembodied clothing, my work reflects on how these clothes "remember" the physical presence of the body.
In my MA work, garments were embedded in paper pulp made from old family bedsheets. Through crushing in a powerful hydraulic paper press, the garment recalled a pressed flower, a trace, a leaving, a shedding almost. The object became uncanny and suggestive of the preserved bodies and clothes of the bog bodies found in the peat bogs of Northern Europe. The outcomes were presented in unsettling ways, promoting thought about how disembodied clothing can evoke remembrance and a sense of presence.
During my AA2A residency at Derby University, I explored how different materials (ceramic, latex, textile fragments) could evoke similar melancholic feelings.
I am also leading a project, "Down to Earth", which focusses on a local church and its surrounding woodland with area of reflection used for scattering of human remains after cremation. I am exploring how grief and loss can be explored through the materiality of the site.
A current commision, “Drawing on Age” on behalf of Charnwood Arts , explores memory through audio recording and drawing. The subject of loss and grief is a recurring theme during conversations with the elderlly and this project is also providing further ideas which will feed into later work.