Anne Graham: Born 1949, Buxton, Derbyshire, England, UK.
Anne Graham has held over 23 solo exhibitions, with representation in many prestigious national and international exhibitions, including the 2003 Echigo-Tsumari Necklace project, organised by Art Front Gallery, Tokyo; 'Construction and Process', an exhibition featuring artists from 25 countries held in Poland in 2000; and the 6th Biennale of Sydney: 'Origins, Originality + Beyond' (1986). In 1995, she held a solo exhibition at Tokyo's Hinode-Machi Gallery as part of the residency exhibition programme. She is the recipient of many grants and awards, including the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Merit Award for Passage, 2000, located in Martin Place as part of the City of Sydney Sculpture Walk
Anne Graham has had a long commitment to studying the association between memory and things. At one time she worked with Alzheimer’s patients in an old people’s home. She found that although they normally remembered nothing of their past once she put an object that they had brought from home into their hand they began to talk. Detailed stories emerged of where the object came from who gave it to them and sometimes they talked enthusiastically about collections of such things they once had for example tea cups, hair brushes etc. Anne was able to make installation portraits of these women using their objects, photographs from their youth and current ones that Anne took of them.
Research into memory strongly supports the crucial role of things experienced in the world about us in the present for creating recollection of things past. Proust already knew this when he wrote about the powerful effect of the smell of a the Madeleine, in evoking the presence of his favourite aunt. Things recalled through bodily sensation have a very different level of immanence than memories recorded as text or even image. Indeed new research tells us that memory resides in the cells of the body not just in the brain. In fact language and conscious thought are responsible for only 2% of the activity of the brain. 98% of what goes on happens prior to our becoming conscious of it. It is this that makes an art of installation which activates memory through bodily response before language kicks in so very powerful.
Materials and objects bring together experiences of place but they also initiate narratives that are in the hands of the participating observer.