Traces of a Childhood – suite of 9 editioned monotypes
Exploring the human body
Traces of a Childhood is a suite of nine prints exploring the theme of memory and childhood. They were inspired by an anonymous gift made to the artist of a collection of Edwardian baby clothes which had been kept in a bottom drawer by an unknown mother. The clothes were exquisitely made, and they inspired me to think about both who the mother and the children might have been, and also the act of love at keeping them. Each item seemed to hold the identity of the children – to be a direct link to them. In this work, I wanted to portray the ‘memory’ of those unknown children which was contained in the clothes. Transforming these beautifully made baby clothes into individual printing plates, I ensured that each print has the direct ‘touch’ of the child on them. Printed in silver and gold ink onto black Somerset paper, these monotypes are a series of haunting images which evoke the traces of a childhood. I added individual whisps of hair at the neck and arms and a gold feather to evoke both the heart of the child as well as the love of a mother. This final touch of the artist’s hand makes each print is unique.
It seemed an act of love by a mother to hold on to these exquisite baby clothes. I wanted to capture this emotion in the work.