Gwendolyn Anne Davies
Copyright © Gwendolyn Anne. All rights reserved.
Familiar Places: Ghosts of a Memory was a thesis exhibition, presented in Gallery 100 in Tempe, AZ, accompanied by a written investigation into the function of photography in the home and art. This project is a diaristic photographic record including images of myself, my family, my environment, and mementos or objects that embody family history. I am interested in what we hold onto to keep memories and create our "home". I moved frequently growing up so my sense of home became firmly grounded in family, tradition, and the things we kept close, making home a practiced space not a place. This thesis project explores how material culture, including photographs, is used in creating the space of the home. Questions regarding the nature of the photograph as a memory keeping device or memory trigger is investigated to understand their usefulness and accuracy to the memory. A deeper examination of the difference between an artist’s photograph of family and home versus the family photograph is discussed and presented by utilizing installations in the exhibition.
“Memory, a ghost of the past, is continually conjured, brought back to life, as a real component of the present. Shuttling us back and forth between past and present, slowing down our perceptions and drawing them out, or speeding us toward an ideal future, these photographic artifacts are like time machines.” (Batchen, 2004)