Rachel Bacon

Lost & Found, 2006

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Lost & Found

 

Lost & Found is an exploration of the transitory nature of memory and experience. The drawings are the result of my interaction with six members of the local cancer association in Rauma, Finland. The participants were asked to describe to me in an initial interview something that they had lost. It could be anything: a tangible, specific object, or something completely abstract. After this, I made a drawing of what they had lost, which was then shown to them. They could then react to the drawing and discuss any corrections or refinements, after which a new drawing was made. This process was repeated until we reached an image of what they had lost.

 

6 series of drawings, each 21 x 25 cm, colored pencil, 2006, shown at the exhibition Common Ground, in the Lönnström Museum of Art in Rauma, Finland, 2007.

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Lost & Found was created during a two-month stay as artist-in-residence at Raumars in Rauma, Finland, an artist residency program focused on community based arts projects.

 

This series was made for S., who had lost her joy in life.

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I chose to make the drawings as a series of still lives. The compositions were created using a variety of simple everyday objects. This allowed me to create a particular combination of abstraction and realism, which I thought could more accurately reflect the descriptions and experiences of the participants’ losses.

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Their losses were invariably intangible, though often related to concrete circumstances, like the loss of a family member, or some physical loss through an operation. But the real losses were more diffuse, and not to be contained in one thing, and certainly not in one object. Most of the participants had lost multiple things, or sometimes could not even explain what had been lost, though often it became clearer as the drawings progressed.

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An important aspect for me in the depiction of everyday materials is the idea that there is something extraordinary imbedded in the most ordinary aspects of daily life. It can also be the case that the threat of losing something can act as a trigger for an enhanced awareness of what is valuable. Through direct contact with the transitory nature of all things through personal loss, the extraordinary can reveal itself.