Clare Lyons

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Back Into Your Mind / (2018-19)
It can be said that we are composed of memory, and that our personality, values and sense of self hang together as a mesh of collected memories and experiences. This would therefore mean that a loss of memory results in some fundamental loss of the self, but what if the formation of one's sense of self is less about what we can remember, and more about what we have forgotten - that which has been either consciously or unconsciously blocked? What if the inevitable systems of repression and suppression form a different kind of identity, one composed of gaps and absences? We may be constructed by our memories and thoughts, but we can also be products of what has been forgotten.

Back Into Your Mind is a cathartic exploration of my repressed and suppressed memories. An attempt to fill in the gaps of a fractured personal history, this project is a demonstration of the process of recalling and recollecting seemingly irretrievable childhood memories as an adult. I sought out locations and objects, and recorded visual triggers, that relate to these foggy experiences. In revisiting these memory sites, I began to piece together the formative impact my childhood experiences have had an my adult self.

The folding, obscuring and manipulation of the images demonstrates the mental process of uncovering and recalling, of bringing these lost memories back into your mind. The manipulated prints allow for the construction of a narrative that tells a story of lost and found. The exposed but broken image conveys a fragmented trauma - the parts of myself that have been forged as a result of my experiences. That which remains concealed behind the folds represent that which might never be recovered - or the parts of myself I might never know.

/ Installation shots from The Invention of Memory curated by Julia Gelezova at Rathfarnham Castle as part of the 2019 PhotoIreland Festival.