In Flanders Fields Museum
Diary Dagboek – a site-specific, temporary artwork comprising a line of 40 ceramic ‘tiles’ – explored the separation of, and bonds between, those who remain at home and those who go to war, as well as the relationship between two countries, allied in conflict. In addition, it was an expression of ambivalence: knitting woollen garments for the men at the Front could be seen equally as an act of support and love as one of complicity in sustaining the war effort.
Diary also explored how thoughts and memories can be made tangible. Woollen and lace forms were dipped into a clay slip and fired when dry. The materials and their transformation expressed the temporary nature of memory, as well as presence and absence. The use of textiles which vanish but leave their trace – and the fired clay, alluded to the traditional use of ‘permanent’, robust materials in conventional memorials, as though they will guarantee we ‘never forget’.
The knitted woollen and embroidered lace components of Diary Dagboek were made by Café Knitting, a knitting group from Karori, Wellington, New Zealand, and members of kantwerk and textiel classes at the Stedelijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunst, Poperinge, Belgium.