Dancing with a Cobra by Alison McCauley
Last copy of this short print run of 33
In the beginning of 2016, I moved back to South-East Asia, where I spent my earliest years. This has brought back half-forgotten feelings and hazy memories. Coming back has given me the perfect opportunity to explore these early childhood memories that differ so much from those collected from later periods of my life. As a child I remembered events or details that my adult self would probably find unremarkable and the big life events that an adult might consider important have long disappeared from my memory.
There are many memories that probably weren’t formed at the time of the incident, but implanted from stories people told years after the event, like my supposed memory of Lee Kuan Yew’s heartfelt, tearful announcement after Singapore had been expelled from the Federation. I’m sure I was too young to remember this moment in history.
My photographs are a visual interpretation of these childhood memories but they are also an instinctive, emotional response to these altered, yet familiar places. By using photographs from my life now, I am both consciously and unconsciously, recreating moments from my past. This process and the photographs themselves enable me to keep these memories alive. The process has proved to be cathartic and has helped to free me of a nagging nostalgia and melancholy caused by an abrupt departure and the loss of a nurturing and happy environment all those years ago.