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Archive for the ‘Hannah Hurst’ Category

Work: Troubling the Map

In Hannah Hurst on June 10, 2009 at 9:06 am

LOCATION, DISLOCATION AND THE MATERIALIZATION OF CULTURAL MEMORY

My intention is to consider, through research and practice, how textile household memorabilia have survived a history of continued displacement. Whilst much documented research (Hall & Said) establishes significant contemporary links between cultural, personal and historical aspects, I will be looking at how material and textile memorabilia from the Diaspora can be a container or carrier of memory. This will include my own personal experiences in this process with specific reference to Lithuanian Jewish culture. Historical memory books such as Al-Nakba and Yiskor continue to be honoured and archived and these, together with a map, are the fabric and thread of cultural memory and are seminal to the development of my practice.

This practice- led research explores dialogic practice as it engages with personal memory and post memory.  My focus is familial memorabilia and fragments of memory.  As well as addressing the autobiographical, the research investigates cultural and material contexts of displaced women artists through significant textile/photographic or text memorabilia.

My personal history frames my research; a personal feeling of displacement which is exacerbated by having little oral history relating to my great grandparents¹ life in Lithuania or their emigration South Africa pre 1900. However, it is known that they brought down feathers sewn into their clothing. This tangible evidence, passed down through subsequent generations, is a carrier of memory and narrative. I have moved such testimony (the family linen and photos) across three continents.

I extended my research to Torah Binders, Genizah fragments and Yiskor books. In addition, maps and mapping, both metaphorical and literal, became important. In combination, maps and textile-related memorabilia have become the material signifiers through which narratives of displacement and memory can be told. In my practice I explore the notion and activity of Œtroubling¹ through cloth to tell a story of a connection to the body as well as to the damage of displacement, often with bias (in a sense of bias-binding and biased interpretation). Memorabilia serve as a holding mechanism for secrets, which can be released through techniques such as stitch repair etc.

I divide my work with displaced women artists into two stages:
Interviews with displaced women artists to discuss the role of memorabilia within their art practice and personal life.
Meeting as a group to discuss shared histories and collaborate on a practice-based exhibition that reflects these discussions.

My theoretical framework embraces Hall (1993) and Said (1993) who focus on personal, cultural and political issues of displacement and otherness. Lloyd (1999) and Hirsch (1997) concentrate on aspects of memory as traces or fragments of the past. Most importantly anthropologists Schneider and Weiner explore how cloth informs social and political life. Maharaj (2001) and Barnett (1997) have located cultural and material memory through their analysis of textiles in visual art.

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Biography: Hannah Hurst

In Hannah Hurst on June 10, 2009 at 8:52 am

Hannah Hurst is a Textile Artist and Psychotherapist. She is doing a PhD at Norwich University of the Arts.