Michelle Stuart: Tracing Memory

Taking a Creative Journey of Past to Present with the Acclaimed Multimedia Visual Artist

Perhaps better known for her land art, drawings and sculptural works, the acclaimed American artist, Michelle Stuart has always made photography an important element of her practice. In the upcoming exhibition, Tracing Memory: Selected Works 1969–2015, at Parafin gallery in London London, Michelle’s lesser-known photography works will be the focus. Michelle took us on a walk down memory lane, from her earliest creative memories, to her current influences:

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The Mouse
‘When I was five, I accompanied my mother to the hairdresser. She gave me a yellow pad and some crayons. I occupied myself drawing. Later when my father arrived at home my mother said to him, “Look at Michelle’s wonderful mouse.”
There, pinned on the kitchen wall, was a happy grey mouse with black eyes and pink whiskers, written above the mouse was- Michelle, 5 yrs. It was the
Beginning of my museum.’

Shaping Memories
‘Of course everything of any importance (and even things of slight importance) shape our memories. The mouse shaped my present at that moment. It gave me approbation, direction, confidence and the desire to continue the path of creativity i.e.; make a better mouse.’

Nature
‘We are nature so the connection is evident. If one speaks of that which is outside of us- it is always in my work in one way or another and the idea of escaping would mean that I would welcome death. I do not. In fact confronting the sea, looking up at the stars and embracing an animal makes me feel at one with the universe and gives me the desire to stay here as long as possible.’

Recent Work
‘From the last sixty years it has been an exploration of my psyche and imagination joined with, and sometimes enhanced by, poets, explorers, and those that step over the line to illumine the other side.’

The exhibition Trace Memory: Selected Work 1969-2015 will be on view from 27 March – 9 May 2015 in the Parafin, London.

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