So here it is, the time has come where I set up my studio space to display my final major project and no more can be done! What was intended to original investigate into the mental issues of collecting and hoarding resulted in an investigation as to why one individual (my Father) collects. The underlying reasons for my fathers obsessive collecting off WW2 memorabilia, initially stemmed from a sad moment of last year when his father passed away.
We all came to realise that what was simply a hobby soon escalated into an obsession, in order to ‘fill a void’. This was my dads way of keeping busy and blocking out the sad moments of his life. As well as the passing of my Grandfather, my Grandmother then moved to Australia, where two of my Fathers sisters also live, and the other living in South Africa, my Fathers place of birth. Because of this I know my Father felt a sense of abandonment and consequently his collection of medals, helmets and daggers soon grew and grew like never before. He felt comfort and personal value within these inanimate objects, yet they caused stress for the people living with it at home. Multiple postal packages are now piled up in all sorts of places, the study is crammed and the thought of the amount of money that has been spent would probably be a shock to most of you! But it is the idea of such personal issues that I find so intriguing and wanted to capture.
Like I said in my Visual Ethos I believe the past should be preserved, which is precisely what my Father is doing with the collection of WW2 memorabilia. This was a significant moment in time that changed the world and should never be forgotten. Furthermore, sorrowful things shouldn’t be forgotten. Although they are not pleasant to think about, it proves a sense of acceptance and understanding. With this in mind I wanted to capture moments of my Fathers past, growing up in South Africa, as this was a wonderful part of his life. And although these moments will never be able to be revisited they are always there in his memory and heart.
After feeling a little lost with how to create imagery for my project I found great enjoyment in using watercolours to capture my Fathers memories. I actually forgot that I was capable of painting like this and it felt refreshing and got me more engaged with what I was doing again. I feel watercolours were the perfect drawing material for this subject matter, as memories are no longer clear. They become hazy images in the back of our minds, like a mist is slowly covering them. And I felt the softness of watercolours enhanced this effect.
With a love for my new watercolour paintings I then wanted to use these as a main focus for my final piece, but I had already began documenting the items of my fathers collection. So with some time taken to think about thumb nailing, I came up with ideas on how to combine the two. My final large image shows the connection of the memories and the collection through layering. The memories act as the background, to demonstrate that they are in the past. Whereas items from the collection are shown in the foreground, layered on top, in order to convey the idea that the collection is my Fathers way to block out the past and forget certain moments in time.