Heather B. Swann
I will not remember your name 2018
wood, champagne corks, modelling compound, shellac
As both its title and its imagery imply, this work explores the ways that identity and independence can be compromised by uncertainty, infirmity or desire.
The sculpture began with a gathering of heads, modelled over champagne cork cores. These little portraits, these suggestive fragments, these vague hints or recollections of personality then disposed themselves like spring-time buds along the organic, irregular length of twelve Tasmanian ‘horizontal scrub’ walking sticks.
Although it therefore consists of a dozen distinct parts and many more individual faces, although it is deliberately uncentred by uncanny disjunctions of image, material and scale and although the various elements are intentionally separable - in order that they can be used as ‘performance tools’ - I will not remember your name is conceived as a unity. The iconography is continuous.
If these 'memory sticks’ are bunched tightly together in a stack, they are like bunches of faggots, or the bound-together rods of the Roman fasces. Presented with some space between them - leaning up against architecture or furniture – they might individually invoke the medieval image of the Tree of Jesse, and through that a more general idea of familial descent. Pale, ghostly, bone-like, they summon the presence or absence of those who have used sticks to negotiate the world.
I will not remember your name will be featured in Heather’s solo exhibition in Tokyo in October this year. View details of the exhibition here: AustraliaNow2018