The four bodies of work presented in [De]/[Re]constructing place encourage viewers to reflect on the inextricable connection between place, memory, and identity. The exhibition also considers how spaces accumulate meaning over time and how ritualistic behaviour, social encounters, and familial memory contribute to the understanding of self.
As evidenced by the photographic practices of Holly Chang, Lucy Lu, Clare Samuel, and the textile-based practice of Elycia SFA, both public and private spaces are imbued with meaning. Here, elements of history, culture, and geography are layered and collapsed to create an individualized sense of place. Chang’s photographs investigate collective familial identity situated in both domestic and public spheres. Lu’s explore feelings of nostalgia and the process of reconnecting with a place that feels far away in time and space. Through video, photographs, and sculpture, Samuel examines the grounding and unsettling elements that exist within the family dynamic and the physical landscape of home. SFA’s woven pieces, based on family photographs, play on notions of preserving and deconstructing memory.
Ultimately, the process of visualizing and communicating a deeply personal and intangible sense of place through photographic means results in the construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the unique environments that affect the sense of self.