January 3, 2020

How do we construct the present from the past?

Clare Yarrington

Mixed MediaFragments, Each image 25cm diameter

A plate, broken into twenty pieces. Twenty torn fragments of old prints, Each with a story to tell. Piece by piece, digging into the past. From skyscrapers and plane trails, to war memorials and arrow heads, to standing stones and a human skull, to ammonites and oakstone, deepest buried. Excavated from the earth, To form a world. On one level, Fragments is a journey through my own past, drawing on my previous career as an archaeologist and using scraps of prints I created throughout my years as an artist. Many of these prints reflect significant moments in my own life, from my childhood in Derbyshire to my adult life in Scotland. On another level, Fragments addresses the relationship between past and present in society as a whole, depicting how reconstruction of the past through the study of history and archaeology is used to construct society’s identity and values in the present. I hope that Fragments will also prompt the reflection that our present will one day be the past. Future generations will have to construct their identity from the fragments we leave behind – do we wish our legacy to be a world shattered by conflict and environmental destruction?