What She Left Behind
Mixed Media Installation
“Many things conspired to tell me the whole story.”
To create this piece I’ve had to really think about her possessions. What did a 16 year old actually own that wasn’t given or bought for her? To begin with, there were a good number of handwritten journals; boxes crammed with letters and notes passed back and forth among her friends; and notebooks that were covered with comments and observations, all written down in the beautiful cursive style she had learned in school.
She truly loved to dance. Growing up she created elaborate choreographies that she would try on family members, though in public, she was really shy. Dance recitals were difficult affairs, but dancing, for the mere pleasure of moving to the music, was something she always enjoyed.
She tried the violin and the guitar, but ultimately, her voice became her instrument. In high school she joined one of her school’s distinguished choirs, and spent a lot of her free time listening, recording, and practicing songs.
Because she had been a shy and observant child, it came as no surprise that she developed a liking to photography. Looking at the world through the lens of a camera became a favorite pastime.
It’s hard to believe how many years have passed, but I still have her voice on tape, prints of some of her favorite images, and a few treasured videos of her dancing.
As for the rest of her things, I love them simply because, in the words of Pablo Neruda, who so beautifully stated in his Odes To Common Things: “they bear on their handle or surface, the trace of her fingers”.