Presence & Absence 2003.
The five images shown here are a complete series titled “on the edge of memory” and made for a Scottish touring exhibition called Presence and Absence. They all date to 2003 and measure 20X35 inches.
Coffin Price, Valerie, Presence and Absence Exhibition Catalogue, 2003, Crawford Arts Centre, St. Andrews, Scotland.
These pieces are typical of the work I made at that time. They include text, gold leaf, a third dimension, and concern an emotional response to an event: here it is a bereavement.
The images are photographs of photographs. Apologies for the quality.
1. Fictitious Characters
This piece refers to those people from literature who we feel we have met - Jane Austen’s Emma, Charles Dickens’ Oliver, Enid Blyton’s Noddy etc.
The piece is made of a panel of text partially covered by gilt leather: essence of book.
2. Their Traces In Our Genes
This piece remembers those people who lived so very long ago that all that remains are their faint traces within our DNA.
The piece is made of a folded column with Ogham text upon it and a large Ogham word cut out to reveal a gold background. Ogham text is used to give a feeling of long ago.
3. The Recently Dead
This was made due to my own recent losses and the common phenomenon of thinking you glimpse the deceased in cafes, street corners, by the fire etc. for long after they are gone.
A backdrop of text with a calico ‘figure’ on top.
4. The Unconceived
This piece is concerned with those who are not yet born, some will not be born for millennia.
The text here is written in an invented to give a futuristic atmosphere. The glimpse of the future through a break in the text reveals an incomprehensible collection of mixed media.
5. The Remembered
Speaking of the deceased with another person who also loved them makes that person shine in our memories.
An italic blue text here gives an impression of chatting. The gold leaf is in a recessed curved area allowing it to glow to its greatest effect. It is an absence: but the most present of absences.