My TU Dublin fourth-year major project Not the location of my first kiss, is about memories, sometimes misremembering and mixing things up.
For years I thought Andrew Skelton was the first boy to kiss me, one summer evening in the gap between the fields of Hand’s caravan park in Donabate, then it occurred to me that I’d had my first kiss at least three years earlier aged nine, also in a caravan park but this time in Portrane with a red-haired boy called George or Gerrard. We kissed behind a colourful striped cloth windbreaker between our caravan and the converted double-decker bus that belonged to the family of the girl that George or Gerrard went off with the following weekend.
Revisiting the past, I concentrated on memories from the years before my first misremembered kiss. As the project is centred around childhood memories I wanted it to have a playful element. COVID-19 restrictions dictated the type of project I could attempt. The still-life images were made at home in the spare bedroom utilizing what could be sourced locally and what was to hand, family albums, items found in my Granny’s dressing table and long-forgotten boxes in the attic. As I live in the same town I spent most of my childhood in I had access to most locations. I wanted the portraits to be more constructed than those I had previously made, and to have a performative element, my Mum stood in for everyone and played all of the characters.
Everything started with a memory, then a photograph was made, and a piece of text written.