M A N O N
M I K O L A I T I S

M A M A N

This work is the manifestation of my personal reflection on loss and the significance of preserving memory. By referencing traditional methods of preservation, such as pickling and canning, alongside personal objects once belonging to my mother, I aim to comment on the notion of conservation, both in the metaphorical and literal sense. Each object acts as a physical representation of the memory of my mother, from her watch and necklace, to her lock of hair and wedding dress.


This work takes inspiration from the artists Kaarina Kaikkonen and Ashley Fiona, who have utilised clothing within their work as a way to represent past life and to acknowledge the influence that these particular items have over us and our memories. Similar to Kaikkonen and Fiona, I acknowledge the physical absence of my mother through her personal items included in this work. By selecting methods of preservation where the primary function is to retain original quality, I am commenting on the significance of these objects in conserving my own memory of my mother.


Together, preservation and memory act as the central theme at play within this work, and are solidified through the medium of photography, which by nature is also a method of preservation. Photographs of my mother, both as a young girl and in her last few days, are presented within the series to emphasise the potential of photographs as physical memories that hold the ability to transcend time, and even defy death. Simultaneously, photographs themselves can also be considered as being stuck within a temporal loop, speaking only of the past and reminding us of what is lost. By pairing photographs with significant personal belongings, this series attempts to preserve not only the physicality of my mother seen in the photographs, but also the living memory that is able to transcend time, housed within each object.


The fractured display of this work is a comment on the fallible and fragmented nature of memory. Memory itself is not a fluid or cohesive concept, but is rather made up of multiple pieces that we mentally preserve in order to construct a vision of what has passed. The sizing of these images is deliberate and aims to reflect the fragmented structure of memory. When viewed as a whole, the series comes together to create a visual and multifaceted memory of my mother.


Furthermore, the deadpan and forensic nature of these images play homage to the archive, a collection of documents or records providing information on the past. Similar to the archive and its concept, the objects and photographs included in this work act as a tool in preserving the memory of my mother.

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