To Be Rooted is a quilt made from cyanotype photographs on fabric in collaboration with found second hand and family heirloom fabrics.

The cyanotype photographs in this quilt were taken on my recent and first return to Macau and Hong Kong since I left three years ago. Moving away in the first place was difficult because I was once again leaving the home I knew and was unsure of when I would be able to visit again. These photographs exhibit my nostalgic memories of Macau and my re-evaluation of how it contributes to my sense of home. Capturing scenes of the streets I once explored in childhood and the feeling of being home, pictured in my bedroom window, is exemplified through the dreamy and monochromatic aesthetic of cyanotypes in which is informed by its process. A sense of catharsis lingers in the quiet and isolated depictions; I am the only one there, wandering amongst the surroundings of a past lifetime.

It is in the physical binding by thread that unites my Australian and Macanese homes as a means of manufactured reality; although in my imagination I’m unable to make sense of my different manifestations of home, I have constructed a reality in which visual representations of my Macau memories bond with the other part of my childhood. While my Australian home lives in memory, my Macau home lives in these photographs. Every piece of fabric in this quilt is second-hand or passed down from my family. Referencing the make-do nature of quilts, I use textiles and photographs in an attempt to unite memories of my past into a collage of ‘home’.

This quilt ultimately is my home in the nostalgic correlations of the aesthetics of floral printed table cloths, doily-like cardigans and photographs of Macau and Hong Kong. The quilt is a collaboration between textile and image. It provides a broader perspective of the photographs and places them in the context of nostalgia, family history and childhood. The quilt ultimately allows my two homes and my experiences in each, to which are completely opposite in not only their points in my upbringing but also in their cultural and geographical differences, to become one, singular, representation of home. To finally visualise, amongst the arbitrary recollections of dreams of Australia and Macau, a home that makes sense; a cathartic goodbye to my childhood, to my two homes, living on in memory, nostalgia, family history and this quilt. Through the home and its meaning, I am finally rooted.

Read more…