Maria Garton - contemporary artist


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My recent work ‘All That I Left Behind' 1, 2005 (photograph on mdf) 20” x 13” and ‘All That I Left Behind 2, 2005 (photograph on mdf) 20” x 13” were a result of a residency at Timber Wharf, Castlefield, Manchester and a subsequent displacement of this work in the Langworthy area of Salford. The space was ideal for my new work because of its historical industrial past and its present regeneration in to an area of urban domestic sophistication. The resulting installation consisted of memory boxes that contained items which revealed fragments of an encoded history existing individually and also as a part of the whole. Items included fabrics from old curtains, lace and doilies sourced from second hand markets and donations from family members. There is also text, photographs and drawings contained in the boxes. The photographs of the installation also incorporate the external changing environment. These environmental aspects were significant because of their associated notions of time memory.

My interest in urban regeneration has developed through an exploration of themes around displacement and memory. This exploration led me to displace the work in to an area of social decay that is awaiting regeneration. The resulting scattered installation evoked notions of transience and change. I was also interested in exploring ideas around spatial dimension and the needs people have in relation to the space they need to live and work in. It led me to consider the impact on people of losing control of that space by the removal of their physical environment. People interact with their surroundings in profoundly important ways and this mental mapping enables people to define their environment. I also considered the individual use of space and the unconscious behaviour that establishes a personal territory evidenced in people's pattern of behaviour, routine of routes, use of shops etc.