‘Memory is a re-creative act, each time we remember we re-construct, rather than re-live the experience’

Millar, 2013, p. 13

The images here are from a very significant part of my PhD into ageing. In our 60’s and beyond, there is a desire for a much deeper self-knowing. The perceptions we hold close of our younger selves, hold secrets which are worth taking time to uncover. The slow, challenging making of this textile work has conveyed new meaning to me, offering unforseen yet valuable glimmers of understanding into the nature of identity and personality. It is a work in progress.

Poem House

These images are part of my ongoing research into ageing. I had been working with Scottish artist, Brigid Collins on how I might integrate text into my research artwork. She introduced me to the idea of a Poem House as a possible ‘container’ for words and images. The 3D aspect of this has worked well for me, particularly as at the same time I had been using heuristic inquiry (see below) as a method of exploring aspects of loss and grieving. Creating the poem house as a visual articulation of words left unsaid, offered valuable insight which I have been able to develop and incorporate into my PhD thesis.

‘Heuristic inquiry is a process that begins with a question or problem which the researcher seeks to illuminate or answer. The question is one that has been a personal challenge and puzzlement in the search to understand one’s self and the world in which one lives. The heuristic process is autobiographic, yet with virtually every question that matters personally there is also a social-and perhaps universal significance.’

Moustakas, 1990, p15

Alison F Bell