September 3, 2019

Does Grandpa Remember?

Scott Robbie

Copper, brassPt. 1 'Puffballs, Westonbirt and stick fights with Grandpa', 201815x13x17cm

As I watch my Grandpa succumb to altzheimers, I wonder about the state of my own memory. Apparently many of our earliest memories are fabricated, and I thought back to my oldest and most comprehensive memory with my Grandpa. We were stick-fighting in the Westonbirt Arboretum near Gloucester and I remember a man full of vitality who would let me whack his knuckles when he parried my blows, then chase me into the brush. I remember appearing in the Acer Glade, an area of almost Narnian splendour which was filled with puffballs. I popped them, their spores releasing like smoke and leaving a disgusting husk. I haven’t seen puffballs since, never again made them pop. Did they ever exist? The puffballs now remind me of a man’s physicality, as spent as his mind. They punctuate the divide between innocence and dark ponderings on mortality. I observe my own body and mind change, leaving the puffballs as a bittersweet memory that I may not have even had. This piece has been raised from copper, aged with patina. I hope the metaphor translates. Making a solid memory gives me peace, I’m certain that it exists. Fairly certain.