Monique van Ingen

Absent Souvenirs

Artist Statement

Absent Souvenirs explores the deformation of memory over time, with human efforts of preserving truth being a superficial and false comfort. The repetition of the varying interwoven structures represents collective memory while referencing the practice of acquiring and displaying small artificial and inanimate objects as souvenirs. By veiling the typically bright colours and imagery of souvenirs, remembrance is taken away in place of ambiguity and mystery. The absence of an accurate memory is suggested as the elastic and swiftly expanding and shrinking forms show intermittent change in recollection.

Artwork Process

I used an old sheet to experiment with an intuitive approach to shirring, opposing its traditional parallel rows. This created an elasticated fabric with irregular gathering, informing the wire shapes over which it stretches. A photograph was taken of the structures, illuminated with diffused torch light inside a cardboard box lined with rice paper. The image was then digitally manipulated in Photoshop using the Puppet Warp tool and intermittent stages of this manipulation saved as individual frames. These frames were chronologically ordered in Premiere Pro and edited together to make a stop motion video.

About the Artist

  • Name: Monique van Ingen
  • School: Queensland Academies Creative Industries Campus
  • Artwork: Absent Souvenirs
  • Media: Video and installation of wire and cotton sculptures

I find inspiration by experimenting with new ways to use mediums on their own or in combination with others. I often return to making unexpected pairings between textiles and organic or artificial structures. In addition, my motivation as an artist is to amplify fleeting ideas — feelings or memories — and make them tangible. I mostly try to make my artworks ambiguous so the viewer can reach a conclusion that is personal to them, though I am also drawn to creating subtle feelings of uneasiness for the viewer.