When faced with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, I escaped to the past. In The Future of Nostalgia, Svetlana Boym observes that ‘Nostalgia inevitably reappears as a defence mechanism in a time of accelerated rhythms of life and historical upheavals.’ The memories that I cherish have a commonality in that they are all defined by light – sunsets over dramatic landscapes, the night sky whilst camping in remote locations, fireworks and celebrations, the lights across a bustling cityscape. Light is a reminder of those moments. It is emotional, celebratory and a profoundly narrative element. Escaping to these moments, I could relive them in my mind – a dreamy unfocused landscape of colours. By using my art as a method of processing, my work transforms these memories from thought to tangible object. My work is a connection to my own experiences – a link through time. Whilst my memories of these moments are personal and unique to only myself, the element of light is a universal experience. We are drawn to it – it defines us all. As we now emerge from the pandemic and reconnect with each other once again, my work aims to connect with the viewer, to trigger memories of their own experiences, and to invite the sharing of stories. With a focus on transparent materials, I recreate these memories of light using layers of bio-resin and colourful hand punched dots. It is a time-consuming process and I work intuitively and meticulously – each dot is placed by hand to capture the essence of a moment as I remember it. The making process becomes the escape from reality – turning daydreaming into productivity. Repetitive drilling and piercing feed into this escapism, as well as building structures for the resin that reflect as much light in as possible. Domed surfaces and polished spheres bounce light through the resin, reflecting colour onto the wearer and environment.

Copyright © 2022 Sarah Louise McQuarrie