night memories (Site n Soul II) 2005/2006

 

This work was created for a group show, Site n Soul II, organised by Megalo Access, a printmaking facility in Canberra. Each of the 11 artists in the exhibition was asked to focus on a Heritage site in the city of Canberra and to try bring out its qualities using the medium of print-making. My image is based on a photographic impression of Telopea Park, Canberra.

 

My artist statement for the show is reproduced here: "It has been said that beauty is to be found everywhere and most of all in places where we least expect to find it. None can live up to this adage as completely as children.

 

Last year we spent a lot of time in Telopea Park, it could be said that we lived to while away our days at the Park. The boys loved it because it was a place where they could run around without any restrictions. I loved it because I could unwind after a morning of driving around like crazy, ensuring that my eldest reached school on time. And I could talk to other adults—a privilege unheard of when you are looking after three little children!—without having to worry about mundane things that go into running a household.

 

I noticed how carefree the children were playing pretend games, slipping down the slides and running across the bridge in the playground: free as the birds that hovered above. And then I read about the park, about how it had been a place for countless children to run amok in since the early 1900s (it was also a well known drop-off point for KGB spies during the Cold War, but that’s another story). But going back to the children, it was as if the park had been indelibly stamped with their sense of play and untroubled lives, as if those happy memories had slipped through the ages into the present and the dreams that had long been forgotten were resurfacing as night memories…"

 

© Payal Sehgal 2019

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