(ath)bhailiúchán:(re)collection - Jill McKeown 2006

Installation Piece, Jill McKeown
Jill McKeown with Ian Joyce and Oona Hyland
"Blaschka's Flowers II" Jill McKeown
Installation in An Gailearaí Window - Jill McKeown
"Blaschka's Flowers III" Jill McKeown
Artist Jill McKeown recently completed a residency at the Cló Ceardlann na gCroc artist-in-residence facility 'Teach an tSléibhe' in Mín á Leá, Gortahork. This exhibition is the result of work she was investigating during her residency.

At first glance this installation may appear as highly personal, this is of course not so. This body of work explores the relationship between detail-place-memory-collection. The artist further examines the role an 'object' or 'things' play in our recollections and the specifically personal nature of this. Whilst the little motif or object that ignites a memory is highly personal the phenomena is universal. Specific objects such as stones, albeit transported from other places, can accentuate our memory of a place and time. A house, the corner of a staircase, or a carpet can rouse a set of associations which culminate to the thing we call memory. One's childhood memories are perhaps, chronologically, the most potent of all our memories, we remember not merely the carpet per say but the actual tufts, we remember their smell, their touch.

Many of us compile photograph albums, collect memorabilia and ornaments and hang on to keep sakes. To the artist this ordering of memory becomes an act of personal archiving hence the reference to books. That these books are hand made further emphasises the acute personal nature of memory. During her residency the artist recognised that the act of ordering/collating our memories, mentally or physically, and the act of recalling these memories is not harnessed to a specific place. The suitcase, a symbol of movement and mobility, eloquently describes '(re)collection' as a movable feast. Memory therefore, can be a mobile mutable personal museum.

Úna Campbell
May 2006