The brief of this project was to create a landscape scene incorporating the three ideas of home, change and aspiration.
These 3 titles have huge meaning to me, especially this year as I am leaving home for a huge change in my life, University; but more acutely important, in May 2018 we lost my auntie Sian. Sian was the matriarch of my Mam’s generation, she had a huge personality and had such a generous heart. If she ever held a party, you were mad to miss it. One of these parties is covered in the project.
CHANGE: I chose to set this project in the landscape of a suitcase. My parents divorced when I was 5 and I spent my time between their 2 houses. Where ever I laid my suitcase, that was my home. I remember reading a Jacqueline Wilson book – The Suitcase Kid - and really struck a chord with me, I began to understand my changing identity. I had to endure huge changes in my life. Just as I was getting settled in one house, we would move! Suitcases became my stability.
HOME: I also added a guitar capo. I have had issues with poor mental health and playing the guitar ‘grounds me’. I feel safe when I hear the guitar and when I play. It is my home,
I also added some pebbles from Penarth beach. Penarth is my home town, where I grew up. It is a seaside town with a Victorian pier. When I had moved away from Penarth to Brecon in Mid Wales, I missed to seaside. Every time we went back to Penarth to visit my grandparent’s I made sure that we took a trip to the beach to see the pier. This again ‘grounded me’. I was home.
ASPIRATION: Sian – Our Sian. A huge inspiration, not just to our family, but to all that met her. She became the Financial Director of GE Capital Equipment Services (GB), before leaving to set up her own business with her amazing husband, Jon. They established a worldwide company and travelled extensively, generously inviting friends and family to join them. In the mid 1980’s the Welsh Rugby Union had to change their constitution to have Sian as the first female member of a Club committee as their Treasurer.
Sian had many parties which everyone loved to go to, the one that this project is based upon is ‘Cwmfest’. In 2014, for the first time in many years, Sian and friends were unable to get tickets to Glastonbury. Not to lose out, they decided to hold their own festival – ‘Cwmfest’. They decided to hold a 3 day festival in their back garden. They had 3 stages and 9 bands, including me as a backing singer for my cousin’s band. There was a rum shack, eternal flame fire pit, and a camping area for all of the guests. The entrance fee was a decorated pillow case to use as a festival flag. The photos that are in the walls of the suit case are the landscape of this festival with Angelina fibre beneath the images to give more colour to the piece. Other photos on the suitcase were of all my family and friends that Sian inspired.
The centre piece of my project is the multi-coloured wire ‘Wish-tree’. This was inspired by the ‘Wish-tree’ in Sian’s garden. It is a beautiful oak tree that we attached our wishes too on multicoloured paper. You can see some of examples of these wishes in my project. The roots of our family are important to me and the wish tree’s roots are colourfully sewn into leather as the bottom of the case.