Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bittersweet memories

The Caerleon Art Collective is hosting a virtual exhibition, Aequitas, to compliment a rl exhibition at OSA Artspace, in Washington Heights, New York. Artists were asked to mine their childhood memories for inspiration. Nebulosus Severine and two other artists created a vignette, or stage set, on which guests can place themselves. Severine built an evocative and typical scene for many children shipped off to summer camp each year, called Summer, 1985; a platform tent in the woods; sleeping bag resting on thin mattress, bag of clothes stuffed damply beneath the rusty springs of the bed, can of repellent rolling across the floor. Visitors are asked to lie on the bed and listen to the radio. Stations quickly change as though someone were spinning the dial looking for a good tune. Snatches of 80s anthems blare - Shout by Tears for Fears, Its Much Too Late for Goodbye by Julian Lennon, Freedom by George Michael (*cringe*). Severine remarks that her camp experiences left her feeling fairly traumatized, being separated for the first time from her family. Each installation acts as a therapeutic setting where those first time moments, of feeling lost, unloved, lonely or scared, can be reenacted. I found myself slipping into the 80s when sitting next to Severine’s bag of camp clothes. I had terrible homesickness at camp. I participated in all of those typical activities; wrapped the boy’s dorms in toilet paper, sang a Squeeze song at the talent show, learned how to sail, did my chores...When my mom picked me up, however, I had bandages wrapped around both knees and hands from a big tumble down a hill, poison ivy all over my limbs, a fever, and conjunctivitis in both eyes. She took one look at me and started laughing. Nevertheless, I was sent back again and again for another tortuous round. Childhood memories are bittersweet...we crave the simplicity of being young, but remember most the times when things were – complicated. Be sure to spend some time also with the installations by Dekka Raymaker - Fear & Hatred in Rookley Close, Untitled by Banrion Constantine and Things Change at Nighttime by Penumbra Carter.

Exhibition up until July 3rd.