Memory Jugs

Memory Jugs Descansos

The first memory jugs were made by African Americans for grave adornments. Memory jugs are mosaic vessels covered in mortar and encrusted with shards, shells, and various found objects. They were popular in Victorian times as folk art but the idea is believed to have originated from African mourning vessels. “ These were memory laden mosaics…three dimensional scrapbooks. In essence they are fascinating time capsules that link the past to the present as poignant narratives.

What would you put on a memory jug? Contemplate a narrative that might spring from making this art form.

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Grandmother’s Coat

Grandmother-s coat heller kleinI have always been fascinated by Clarissa Pinkola Estes idea of making a full length scapecoat to detail in painting, writing, with all manner of things pinned and stitched inside. But I really love what Alice Wellinger has done here. This beautiful piece truly resonates and fuels the desire to do something using a grey coat that I have had hanging, unworn for many years.

In order to come to know them better it could also be good to explore what the inside of a character’s coat looks like

A Room of Her Own – At Riversleigh

Soultide

Virginia Wolfe filled the hearts of women with yearning when she wrote about ‘A Room Of My Own’. Blogging technology enabled women to have rooms of their own at Riversleigh Manor.

Soul Tide’s blog remains a tribute and shows how you do not have to have independent means to have a very private room of your own.

Purveyor of Creative Stimuli

I used to pride myself in being a purveyor of creative stimuli! Feedback from those who trawled through Soul Food supported my claim that I was quite good at triggering creative responses by providing a smorgasbord of tempting fragments.

Here is one I used to love to use with students. I would insist that there was complete silence and then I would take them through this guided imagery. After we completed the imagery exercise, the students would write what they saw in their imagination and then share their writing with other students. The experience was always exhilarating and there were times when the class spontaneously broke into applause.  I was always impressed by how insightful my students were.

You are walking down a road…. As you are walking, you see a house. Look at it. Notice its details…. Walk towards it. What do you notice about it?…. You start to walk around the house, looking at it as you walk…. Now you are halfway around. Notice the details of the house as you continue to walk around it…. Now you come back to where you were when you started…. As you walked around the house, you noticed a way to get in. Now go into the house…. What do you see?…. Explore the house, what’s inside?…. As you were exploring, you noticed a secret door leading to a secret room. Go inside that room. What do you see?…. Now leave the secret room and go back into the main part of the house…. Now leave the house. As you are walking away from it, you look back at it one more time…. You are back on the road once again, walking.

It was sessions like this that led to a collection of prompts being housed at Soul Food.