Work in Progress – Inspired by the HSF archive

I have been thinking about how [the Helen Storey] archive could be represented. My work is usually concerned with objects that have been abandoned, or it uses marks and traces left by humans. It is easy to see how ‘hard’ remains such as bones, ceramics or metals could be preserved, but what would remain of soft materials? Traces might remain, prints made through pressure or some kind of fossilisation. Fabrics would reveal their structure – the warp and weft, embossed patterns and shapes made by seams and fastenings.

With this in mind, I have experimented with printing garments and fabrics, monoprinting them directly onto paper. These traces would be very fragile, so I have used delicate Japanese paper. Fabrics would be those used in the Collection as well as bin bags and fabrics from the death dresses such as latex and natural sponges. The images could be very small, emulating fragments found in archeological sites

Monoprinting defines it own direction, it takes control, making it difficult to predict the outcome. All historical traces are accidental, the past tells its own story about the future. What they cannot describe is their provence, their role in society is vague, any environmental messages can no longer be read, the audience has to tell a new story.


Susan Wright, Leeds

4th February 2018