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BFA Textile Art

Mikaela Eira Wallin

I take my own hand when there is no one who can speak soothingly

Traumatic memories are stored differently from ordinary memories, they are stored as fragmented memories: visual memories separately, audio memories separately, and so on. There are also memories of body sensations and emotions, and each memory is provided with information about body condition and emotions.

To work a material is like changing a memory, an event into something more manageable. In doing so, I get time to reflect on what I otherwise do not have the strength or will to stay in. I get a kind of outside perspective, I become an observer.

I have built an installation of different works that all talk about the same traumatic experience. There is no clear beginning or end. They are fragmented pieces of memory, doomed to repetition just like me.

It is difficult to explain how it feels to have parents that are not there mentally or physically for you. You are alone even though you have a body next to you that has all the attributes to imitate a parent. As a child, I often felt like the one who was sick because I had no words to explain what was happening. I felt that something was wrong but I did not know what it was. Therefore, I could not ask for help either. Because I did not know what it was I should ask for help for.

In this work, I want to convey how it can feel to grow up with a parent who suffers from a mental illness.

Materials and techniques:
60 years old blackout curtains in viscose, hand-painted with pigment. One of them have embroidery & textile relief.
The sculptures: Viscose and polyester blend, made with sewing machine and hand stitch.