This is a homecoming after many years of being away. I collect pieces of untold stories and hidden secrets to understand and reconstruct the past. I try to fill the gap of memory, the gap of time, the gap of space, all the gaps I bore in childhood.
My father was a proud shepherd, highly sought after for his animal husbandry skills. Why did he and my mother make the critical decision to leave their village and move across the world?
Watching my children play in the garden, I can imagine what life must have been like in the “backyard”, one of the few words they brought back from our life in Australia.
I use images as an adhesive material.
Climbing trees with my siblings, the movement of my mother’s hands as we hung out the laundry, the words and silences, the colours, the laid table, the smell of smoke at nightfall.
I open up a trunk that is full of letters and Christmas cards, I try on mother’s clothes, I have my picture taken with her.
I encounter the same questions time and again. Were we ever happy as a family?
Why did we leave? Why did we return? Could forgetting be a good thing?
Why do I rummage through the ashes of memory? Why did I open the backyard door?