Memory Posts

Patterson Webster
Memory Post I and Memory Post II   2007–2008
Pine tree trunks, acrylic paint
Collection of the artist

These sculptural works are memorials to people who were important in her life: her father, a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law. Patterns on each post, which the artist has dubbed ‘memory posts,’ recall the personality and character of each individual.

Two of the posts are installed beside a large rock marked with a naturally occurring curiosity, a line of quartz shaped like an “A,” a letter that suggests beginnings, in contrast to the posts that suggest endings.

The third post memorializing the artist’s sister-in-law stands in a fern woods. It is decorated with small mirrors, seashells and swirls of colourful paint. Jewellery from the artist’s personal collection makes explicit the personal history that linked the two women.

Following the Australian Aboriginal tradition that inspired this installation, the artist has chosen to allow the posts to weather naturally. Peeling paint and decaying wood underscore the effects of time on the body yet the core of each tree remains intact, suggesting the persistence of memory in the mind.