Ghosts of the past exposed
In 2013 I received funding to travel from the United States to Scotland for six months to create a series of new works that combined genealogy, poetry and painting. I see these paintings as giant pages from a weathered picture book of my family’s past. The hero of this particular story is Murdoch Campbell, my great great great grandfather born in Scotland in 1784. Murdoch comes to the United States as a Scottish man and dies as an Arkansas farmer. I am then born in Arkansas one hundred and twenty years later, not knowing that I would return to Scotland to make art for his ghost.
The silhouettes of my ancestors float across the painted page, as tea and coffee stains the background. The blue represents water, air and dreams. The map lines connect the figures to their homeland and to each other as memories of the past and present haunt and comfort them. A type of poetry bridges the gaps and tells their stories real and imagined.
This is my story and theirs but it is also yours and ours…