Thursday, 21 April 2016

Memory Lane

When I turned forty I felt a need to understand myself. I felt the need to look back, to ask questions and to find the pieces of me. Last year I read a book called 'The Rescue Man' by Anthony Quinn. It was a book I wouldn't have usually chosen for myself ( I read it with my book group). I found myself transported to Liverpool in two tales that intertwine. My own tale begins in Liverpool, the city of my birth, though I moved away when my parents moved south when I was two. So I have only abstract memories of the place I was born and no solid connections there now that my grandparents have passed away. And yet in reading of Liverpool in the 'Rescue Man', I felt a yearning to visit the place that I had been born to. So at Easter we had a family break there and I walked in the footsteps of my parents and grandparents.

The house my parents built in Liverpool

Mersey Avenue

I have asked myself what relevance this trip has had to me and to my work. And it turns out to be about time. I stand at the midpoint of my life, and in journeying alongside my children, I have looked back to my own roots and formative years. I've realised that life speeds up and that time slips away, memories are not solid and my life is not even a blink of an eye in the history of humanity. Somewhere along my journey, I discovered what I am good at and what I love to do. I became 'me'. In choosing to make art (or art choosing to make me) I decided to try to stop time. I decided to stop, to look, to listen and to create something tangible out of the transience of life. My landscape art is about connecting to the earth on which we all stand. It is about capturing a moment. I want others to stop and notice.

Although my work is rooted in nature, I love to travel to cities. I find them stimulating in their architecture, culture and colour. I love art galleries and quirky shops, world food and independent cinemas. Liverpool has them all.

In Liverpool, I found a part of my jigsaw that was missing. I felt very at home. I found the people to be warm and friendly with a sense of humour I recognise in my family. It is a vibrant city that is rich in history and culture. I felt that Liverpool is on her own journey and there is much there to notice.


Unknown said...

Love how you expressed your connection with time!!

Helen Hallows said...

Thank you Patricia.

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