When I first created the sculpture I was very excited about the result. What I realised while exchanging with other people about the work was that without the context there is no way to guess what they are about which is very interesting but it is not what I was aiming. I decided to give them more personality through sound. I interviewed the different members of my family that were appearing on the original images that inspired me for the embroideries. They are related and even if some died a long time ago, some of my family members knew them all their lives and could testify for them and tell me their stories.
In the interviewed, I asked them about their memories about documentations so if they remember their parents taking pictures of them or if they did take pictures of their children and what was their first encounter with family portraits and what did they thought about it.
I would show them the original photograph used for the embroidery and ask them if they could put the image in context if they remember when it was taken why and by whom. Nearly every time while talking about a specific image or memory related to the image it would trigger a wave of memories and stories. Some of the members of the family really opened up and got quite vulnerable talking about their childhood during their interview.
Because some of them got so personal I did not feel comfortable sharing the raw interview to the audience and also knowing that some of what was said might really hurt other members of the family who had never realised that what they did had an impact on their children or siblings. What was also really interesting and which I first realised in another interview for another project was that siblings had very different versions of some events.
I experimented a lot with the interview trying to find the best possible way to present them. I chose to superpose the footages two at the time who would be related through the picture and in the family (my mother and her sister, my mother and my dad ….). By superposing the interviews, the information disclosed gets blurry and only some words can be understanding and pick up by the listener. What I also found interesting in this process is that I reminded me of a big family meeting where everybody is laughing, talking and sometimes remembering. Having the sound and the sculpture together is for me a perfect combination: the sculpture still is some quite curious object that the sound brings a blurry context to. It a for me the great balance between not enough information to the audience and too much information.