The Way Memory is Recorded

This piece is a study in the way memory works and the different ways in which experiences are recorded and recalled.

Memory

Friends donated this maple stump that had been sitting in their yard for a long time. When I took it home it was full of moisture and life. As I worked on the stump, slowly taking off the bark, the critters that lived in it escaped into the studio, jarred by the sanding and scraping of tools. The entire trunk was sanded silky smooth.The top of the stump has a lovely growth of hen of the woods mushroom that contrasts nicely with the rest of the surface, which was also sanded smooth.

I wrote down personal memories for every year of my life which were then transcribed into the rings of the tree; each ring filled with what would fit of my written memories. The rings afforded only so much space, omitting some of my memories. The stronger the memory, the darker the stain for the lettering. In this way, the tree's memory is preserved along with my own. Like real memories, some experiences slip away while others are emblazened more deeply.

Memory