Working on Zine 2, feelings resurface but a snuggly sweater can help
I had a clear narrative for this zine….and then I started work on it. I have a weird working process of going backwards. (I guess that is what you get when you let an 8 year old run the show).
I set up some models, took photos, added captions, then realised I was totally ahead of myself. I’ve transferred them all into a new document labelled Zine 3.
I then went back to our old photo albums. Gosh it has been really hard looking at them. I’ve been looking with a purpose, to make drawings of myself and my brothers around the time of our family break up, get the appearances right for our ages. But it has triggered a lot of feelings.
There are the pre family break up photos which look idyllic. There may have been tensions under the surface but I see photos of myself looking really happy, relaxed.
Then there are the photos after my father left, the body language in us three children is very different.This is a photo of myself and my brother, post break up. I feel really sad looking at my brother’s pose.
My memories of this time are very vague and fragmented, but the sadness and anger are intact. I’m just trying to sit with them, I know they will pass. (OK I did have a little shout at my long suffering spouse)
On an upbeat note, I suddenly realised another weird synchronicity in my life. As a 4 year old, missing my father, I couldn’t remember what he looked like but I did have a strong sensation type memory of snuggling on his lap with him whilst he was wearing a Norwegian sweater. When my step father came into our lives 10 years later he had a habit of wearing Norwegian sweaters too. I didn’t start hugging him until I was an adult but I can remember how nice it was to embrace him when he was wearing one. He was a reserved, non tactile man but those sweaters really helped our relationship to be an OK one.
I’m actually sitting in my studio now wearing one of my step dad’s sweaters that I held onto after his death. It looks silly on me but it is just to keep me warm if my studio is cold. But it's more than that obviously!