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Bundled Traces: Complicated History

Mary-Louise Totton's avatar Mary-Louise Totton

I used bamboos harvested from my garden to serve as staffs to carry materials that signify my history: as artist, historian, collector, consumer, friend, and family member. All of these stuffs were found in closets and storage chests in my home, things I did not use but did not want to discard as each contained a memory of someone or some life event. Materials were shredded and wrapped and overlapped around the poles and and other objects hang from the tops of the poles with bamboo yarn. These bundles trace my history, my travels, my relationships and my endeavors. Displayed along a wall, as if discarded, elaborate walking staffs, they seem to represent evidence of a ritualistic event or pilgrimage. Stood up in bases, these bundled bamboos would create a forest of mementos. Secured to a wall, these bundles weave shadows and their dangled ornaments sway. Bamboo, symbolic for its strength and flexibility, represents the framework for the complicated narratives of a personal history.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 12 inches
  • Medium: mixed
  • Width: 7 feet
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 8.5 feet