Lacuna_VictoriaAhrens_2012

Lacuna_VictoriaAhrens_2012

Lacuna– 6 photo-collages on handmade book covers

Lacuna, refers to a neurological condition- a gap in our memory- that often occurs after trauma. It  also references the etymology of the word ‘lake’ : lacuna/ae (Latin).  Here the images are all of vanishing and reappearing lakes (Loughareema, in Ireland- Bernardo O’Higgins, in Chile- Lake Jackson, Florida- Lake Peigneur, in Louisiana)-  a metaphor for remembering and forgetting. These bodies of water have changed their status as a result of man-made environmental factors (reservoirs built, mines and oil platform collapses, melting glaciers, roads). The ‘gaps’ in memory are also found in the making of the piece. Here six photo-transfers are scanned and reprinted onto book paper, then mounted on cardboard and book cloth. Each layer reduces the surface of the original, while picking up textured remains on the surface of the scanner and on the surface of the paper. The printed palimpsests work together with small archaeological symbols that refer to the unusual geological features of each lake.

I have been researching archaeological drawings for this piece- they are extraordinary drawn records of the layers of an archaeological site- often created free hand with each layer drawn as it is found on a particular kind of tracing paper. The layers are then put together to form a single image. Also the symbols used to denote different terrain or objects found is like a language in its own right and fascinating to look at from a purely aesthetic point of view.

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